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The Serbs : history, myth, and the…
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The Serbs : history, myth, and the destruction of Yugoslavia (edição: 1997)

de Tim Judah

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214297,707 (3.66)1
This wide-ranging, scholarly, and highly readable account opens with the windswept fortresses of medieval kings and a battle lost more than six centuries ago that still profoundly influences the Serbs. Judah describes the idea of "Serbdom" that sustained them during centuries of Ottoman rule, the days of glory during the First World War, and the genocide against them during the Second. He examines the tenuous ethnic balance fashioned by Tito and its unraveling after his death. And he reveals how Slobodan Milosevic, later to become president, used a version of history to drive his people to nationalist euphoria. Judah details the way Milosevic prepared for war and provides gripping eyewitness accounts of wartime horrors: the burning villages and "ethnic cleansing," the ignominy of the siege of Sarajevo, and the columns of bedraggled Serb refugees, cynically manipulated and then abandoned once the dream of a Greater Serbia was lost. This first in-depth account of life behind Serbian lines is not an apologia but a scrupulous explanation of how the people of a modernizing European state could become among the most reviled of the century. Rejecting the stereotypical image of a bloodthirsty nation, Judah makes the Serbs comprehensible by placing them within the context of their history and their hopes.… (mais)
Membro:Diotima12
Título:The Serbs : history, myth, and the destruction of Yugoslavia
Autores:Tim Judah
Informação:New Haven : Yale University Press, c1997.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
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The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia de Tim Judah

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Tim Judah reported from the Balkans during the 1980s and 90s for The London Times and The Economist and so saw firsthand the calamitous aftermath of the collapse of Yugoslavia. The Serbs focuses on one distinctive group of southern Slavs, but Judah’s account of the history of Yugoslavia—from the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires after World War One to the rise of Fascism and World War Two through to the Cold War and the fall of Communism—situates the territory at the intersection of the major forces shaping the global system during the 20th c. This book was published in 1997 and so ends before the war in Kosovo, but Judah’s telling of the ‘destruction’ of Yugoslavia and the war in Bosnia is thorough and illuminating.

What makes The Serbs more than an excellent conventional history, though, is the way that Judah traces the course of the Serbs’ potent national mythology from medieval to modern times. Judah’s subtitle is a hint, but he is explicit in his Preface:

It is unfashionable to link the past and the present when writing about the wars in the former Yugoslavia. One stands the risk of being accused of implying that somehow the people of the former Yugoslavia are more predisposed to war than anyone else in Europe or that they went to war because of their history. This is not true. The Serbs went to war because they were led into it by their leaders. But these leaders drew on the malign threads of their people’s history to bind them and pull them into war. If Serbian history had been different, today’s generations could not have been manipulated in the same way.

Plato’s Socrates made the point that all societies depend upon the connection between myth, propaganda and politics. Some ‘noble doctrine’—a political approximation of truth—must be affirmed by the leaders and promulgated to preserve the national tradition, by which the citizens of the nation are persuaded of their place in the world. For the Serbs, that noble doctrine was taking form by the middle of the 14th c., when a Serbian empire stretched from the Danube to the Peloponnese. According to Judah, ‘the malign threads of Serbian history’ were already at work, in the chronicles that portrayed tribal warlords as noble princes and especially in the story of Prince Lazar and the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. The posthumous beatification of Lazar (at the behest of his widow, says Judah, in order to buttress the legitimacy of her young son’s ascension to the throne) secured his place in the pantheon of Serbian martyrs and set the template for Serbian heroes ever since. A village riot in 1804—following a power struggle among Hungarian nobles at Karlóca (site of the second-most important seminary in Orthodox Christianity) and a rampage by rogue Janissaries in Belgrade—became in the national mythos a righteous rebellious to liberate Serbia from Ottoman tyranny, animating again the vital connection between bloodletting and national unity. (Hanioğlu notes that the Ottoman periphery at the time was only nominally administered by the Sublime Porte, which was concurrently at war with Russia). The old Serbian tradition of epic hajduk (brigand) poetry reached its apotheosis with The Mountain Wreath, a 2800-verse play glorifying ethnic cleansing, composed by Prince-Bishop Njegoš of Montenegro in 1846, based upon the supposed extermination of Muslims 140 years earlier. The heroic cleansing massacre celebrated in the nationalist epic never happened, though, writes Judah; instead, Muslims gradually emigrated from Montenegro over the course of the following century.

The power of a noble doctrine, as Plato knew, is not in its truth but in its capacity to influence both belief and action. As Judah demonstrates, the most sincere believers in the Serbian national doctrine at the end of the 20th c. were the political leaders. They were the unwavering advocates and guardians of the nationalist mythos, and with their weapons they sought to live up to it. ( )
  HectorSwell | Oct 27, 2018 |
Reviewed by Dusan Djordjevich for H-Net here:

http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=5848881962016
Esta crítica foi marcada por vários usuários como um abuso ods termos de uso e não será mais exibida (exibir).
  chrisbrooke | Oct 27, 2005 |
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This wide-ranging, scholarly, and highly readable account opens with the windswept fortresses of medieval kings and a battle lost more than six centuries ago that still profoundly influences the Serbs. Judah describes the idea of "Serbdom" that sustained them during centuries of Ottoman rule, the days of glory during the First World War, and the genocide against them during the Second. He examines the tenuous ethnic balance fashioned by Tito and its unraveling after his death. And he reveals how Slobodan Milosevic, later to become president, used a version of history to drive his people to nationalist euphoria. Judah details the way Milosevic prepared for war and provides gripping eyewitness accounts of wartime horrors: the burning villages and "ethnic cleansing," the ignominy of the siege of Sarajevo, and the columns of bedraggled Serb refugees, cynically manipulated and then abandoned once the dream of a Greater Serbia was lost. This first in-depth account of life behind Serbian lines is not an apologia but a scrupulous explanation of how the people of a modernizing European state could become among the most reviled of the century. Rejecting the stereotypical image of a bloodthirsty nation, Judah makes the Serbs comprehensible by placing them within the context of their history and their hopes.

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Yale University Press

4 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Yale University Press.

Edições: 0300085079, 0300076568, 0300071132, 0300158262

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