8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
An Interesting Introduction, 17 May 2011
I think overall that this was an interesting, panoramic view of Balkan history from the fall of the Byzatium Empire to the present day. The short and punchy chapters, that Mark writes, are written with a style that is both lucid and insightful in many ways.
I do think however that the book was a little scant on certain areas that I wanted to learn more about; for example the Russo-Turkish war of 1878, the Crimean war and the break-up of the Yugoslavian state in the early 90's. I hasten to add, that if I wanted to find out more about these events then I probably bought the wrong book, as the book is very much an introduction.
So why the 3 stars instead of 5? Firstly, the book's last chapter or two, in my opinion, trys to deal with too much, with the end result that you're left with a superficial picture of events. Lastly, the Balkan wars of the 90's, I feel could have been covered in more depth.
To end on a positive note: if every historian adopted this short but insightful style of writting for an introduction to the history of any region/country, then I think, more people would find history living up to the old adage: To understand the present, we must try to understand the past.