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The Collapse of Yugoslavia 1991-1999 (Essential Histories)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2007
A good, honest book that covers events leading up to the break up of Yugoslavia, the main events, how it affected the rest of the world and how it all came to an end. Like all the Essential Histories books there are also chapters telling a soldier's story and a civilian's story. The book does end a bit abruptly and does not cover the war in Kosovo or Milosevic's trial. It is fair that it also mentions the mistakes made by the UN etc as well as the atrocities carried out by all sides. It is amazing that so many 100s of thousands of people were allowed to die within the boundaries of Europe all for the cause of ethnic cleansing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2010
I got this to read into the background to the Balkans in advance of a course. In particular I wanted to learn about the Kosovo crisis in 1999, but it only has a few pages on this. It's coverage of the conflicts in the early 90s is good though. A good first read before going deeper into other references.
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on 6 February 2015
The conflict was very complicated, but the author explained it extremely well. I will recommend to any person who wants to understand the conflict
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on 30 July 2015
After a recent visit to Dubrovnik I found this book enlightening, I needed to understand what happened during the war.
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on 30 October 2014
Very comprehensive, succinct overview. Easy to read and covers off the main aspects of the subject very well.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2008
I bought this book hoping to learn a bit more about Arkan (Raznatovic) and he was only mentioned twice but still an interesting account and brings to light a lot of facts that weren't widely publicised by the media.
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on 13 June 2015
Complicated situation but an informative read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2015
Worth reading,but is principally focused on the political and ethnic facets that were relevant once the fighting started. The author mentions nothing about Ronald Reagan's request for a "quiet revolution." about the economic factors involved. How does a country with 6 percent year on year economic growth become an economic basket case overnight?

The author never bothers to mention the introduction of the Washington consensus and the intense structural adjustment demanded on the state,who were by far the biggest employers at the time. Almost half of Yugoslavs lost their jobs and the IMF felt that not enough was being done to de-nationalise the work force. Yugoslavia is another case, along with Germany, where imposed austerity has resulted in the rise of the far right and increased nationalism, Dr. Finlan fails to mention that even Tudjman and his Croatian Democratic Union party was a far right party that pandered to the nationalists in Croatia, the New York times wrote of the 500 black shirted fascists rallying in split, dressed in black and shouting the rallying cry of the Ustashe. Its probable that the far right would never have been elected had the austerity not been as severe, the rush to de-nationalize should have taken decades, if at all. The region will never recover.

Dr. Finlan also leads us to believe at the beginning of the book that the EU were in agreement for the independence of Croatia and Slovenia, where I understand that Germany was acting unilaterally, a strong productive union with low labour costs was a huge threat to Germany's own economic survival, and, due to the destabilisation of the labour markets in Yugolsavia, very quickly tens of thousands of guest workers went to find jobs in West Germany.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 January 2014
This 8 year war was a very complicated affair. It was fuelled by a number of things: the desire to increase ownership of territory from its neighbours, the hatred for some of its neighbours, especially the Muslim Bosniacs, and the ethnic mix of Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia. The flame was lit by several murderous despot leaders, notorious among them: Milosevic, (President of Serbia), Karadzic, (Serb Politician who had command responsibility) and Mladic (a top Serb General).
There was also clearly an established undercurrent of criminals and gangs in the region at that time, many who found a place for themselves in the war! Racial tensions had existed for some while, though controlled, the fire just needed lighting?
The war was notorious for the initial weak stance of Great Britain, and the United Nations and NATO's on- going limp rhetoric of `peacekeeping,' rather than peace enforcement. This led to thousands of deaths and atrocities right before the peacekeeping troops `very eyes - and they, under orders, did absolutely nothing. Their shame was total in the massacre at Srebrenica where 7,000 male civilians were murdered.
Only when the United States joined the war latterly, did anyone get to grips with the Serbs murderous ways. This time force was used!
This war produced all the worst of human nature and the consequences in human misery - murderous despotic leaders, concentration camps, chemical warfare, genocide and hundreds of thousands of starving refugees. This is an excellent introduction to the raw basics of this war.
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