1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A thorough narrative and demographic history,
This review is from: Kosovo: a Short History (Paperback)
This was published in 1998 prior to the descent into conflict that separated Kosov from the remnants of Yugoslavia. If this book had been read and understood the conflict might well have been avoided.
Unlike the history of the west where history appears to have a direction, with countries becoming freer and more prosperous over the centuries- as in the Whig interpretation of English history- Kosovo seems to have spent most of its history buffeted bewteen far more powerful entities.
Both Serbs and Albanians have perceived identies in which they are the permanent victims of a more powerful enemy. In reality both sides have been both oppressors and oppressees at different junctures.
The demographic myths of the Serbs have been particularly destructive in the last hundred years, the idea that Kosovo was the core of Serbia until the Albanians in conjuction with the Ottomans ethnically cleansed them has been pernicious and used to justify the mistreatment of the Albanians. As Malcolm shows both communities have lived in the province for centuries and their relative proportions have changed to and fro over the years.
In short this is a very informative study that illuminates much of the difficult situation.