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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, Brane, your evidence is just limited and suspect, 17 Feb. 2004
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RM (London Colney, HE UK) - See all my reviews
Branimir Anzulovic has attempted to explain the reasons why Serbs pursued their policy of "Greater Serbia" in the 1990's by specifically focusing on the 1389 Battle of Kosovo legend, or "myth" as Anzulovic describes, perpetuated in Serbia's folk songs and poetry.
The problem is that he believes the reason why the Serbs launched their war for a "Greater Serbia" was because they were pi**ed about losing Kosovo and their vast medieval empire 600 years ago, and tried to regain it by aggression against others during the 1990's. While this argument may be plausible to an extent, its not the whole truth. There were many others factors as to why the Serbs went to war e.g. economic difficulties, a belief that they were defending themselves against another genocide (like the 1941-45 in the Independent State of Croatia), media manipulation and other things. These are strangely omitted from Anzulovic's book.
Also, his description of Serbs in the Krajina region of Croatia as being "Serbianised Vlachs" is reminiscent of Noel Malcolm's description of the Serbs as being Vlachs in his book "Bosnia: A Short History" (which is, incidentally, in Anzulovic's bibliography). For those of you who do not know what Vlachs are, they are a nomadic people, originally from Romania, who spread west to countries that are now known as Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. Muslim and Croat nationalists call Serbs "Vlachs" when insulting them (its used as a pejorative term).
Before I wrap up my review, there is one more thing which Anzulovic accuses the Serbs of (or more specifically, Serbia) and that is starting WW1, but he describes it in an accusatory manner. It would be the equivalent of a German writer stating that the German Jews were responsible for (or ignited) WW2 or their own persecution prior to WW2 because they held influential social, political and economic positions in Germany prior to 1939. It would not only be a ludicrous argument but also an extremely offensive one to the victims of the Holocaust.
What Anzulovic has done successfully, however, is to present his book in a far less overt anti-Serbian manner, which could be mistaken for being genuine scholarly research and objectivity if read by someone with little knowledge of the region and peoples.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased, negative and ultimately unrewarding, 19 Aug. 2005
I initially bought this book cheaply and imagined it was written by a Serbian historian/scholar. The book does contain some interesting information and stories about Serbian history and mythology. However, as you progress through the book it becomes quite apparent the author is far from objective and fair. In fact, it becomes quite apparent that the author is consumed by a hatred of the Serbs.
The central premise of the work seems to be that the Serbs are evil and is an inherent part of their national character. It seems that the author uses every opportunity to draw comparisons with the mentality of Nazi Germany (albeit unspoken). We also learn that Serbian literature not only frequently justifies genocide, but is actually complete rubbish too. Unfortunately, this type of work will only add to divisions and intolerance in that region of Europe, which is quite irresponisble and cowardly considering the author currently redsides in the US. I found myself asking why the US intellectual establishment considered this vitriolic hatred worthy of publication. I can only guess it was a means of justifying their role in the recent conflict.
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