Anyone who has glimpsed the long, mountainous, island-studded Dalmatian coast would surely agree that its beauty is little short of divine. Croatia, quite simply, is blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, and its history is equally captivating. A Traveller's History of Croatia offers tourists and travellers an inside look at how the country's cultural fusion of Mediterranean, Central European and Balkan influences has given it a tumultuous past. The book's narrative begins with Croatia's astounding Greek and Roman legacy, and then explains how the early blooming of the Croatian state in the 9th century was thwarted by the ambitions of its powerful neighbour, Hungary. In the Middle Ages much of the coast came under the control of Venice, which over centuries left its indelible stamp on many charming, historic towns. Croatia became a battlefield as the Ottoman Turks invaded during the 1500s, until they were finally repulsed by the Habsburgs, who ruled the country right up until the First World War. The twentieth century brought new solutions in the founding of Yugoslavia, problems with Croatian nationalism and the horrors of invasion in World War II. Under Tito a stability came to the region until the battles of the 1990s, which were finally resolved with the international recognition of an independent state in 1992. Croatia today is independent, peaceful, and as beautiful as ever: it has taken its place as one of the world's most coveted travel destinations.
From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and greeted with critical acclaim as "the most insightful and timely work on the Balkans to date" (The Boston Globe), Kaplan's prescient, enthralling, and often chilling political travelogue is already a modern classic.This new edition of the Balkan Ghosts includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between 1996 and 2000 beginning just after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and ending after the conclusion of the Kosovo war, with the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power.
"The most authoritative account in English or any other language about how the war began."—The Washington Post Book World. "An essential resource for anyone of the conflict."—The New York Times Book Review.
Slovenia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Jason Blake
Slovenia seems closer to Austria or Italy than to its Balkan neighbors. The richest of the Slavic nation-states, it has an entirely Western tradition, having belonged in the past to the Roman Empire, the Frankish kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Habsburg monarchy, and the First French Empire. After the Second World War it became part of the Republic of Yugoslavia, before declaring independence in 1991. This extraordinary cultural legacy is what sets Slovenia apart, matched by an amazingly varied topography packed into a small area. Traveling toward the coast, you see changes in the landscape and in the architecture. This reflects both the natural and the historical variety: the Venetians built their buildings one way, the Austrians another. Slovenia’s natural beauty is astonishing. Legend relates that when God was allotting nature’s bounty, he forgot Slovenia. His last-minute solution was to take bits of the best from other places: gorgeous Alpine ranges, the less craggy Pohorje mountains, the Pannonian plain stretching toward Hungary, hill after hill rolling southward into the horizon, the unique karst landscape, rivers aplenty, and a few miles of Adriatic coastline. Never having had a glorious unified kingdom in the past, Slovenians identify themselves not by blood or history but by their language, which differs from the other languages of the ex-Yugoslavia. The older generation is fluent in Serbo-Croatian, which helps for politics and trade, but has little of its historical baggage, and the country has geo-political importance as a politically stable stepping stone to the Balkans. As far as nationhood goes, Slovenia’s golden age is now. There is a sense of change in the country—mostly for the better, and not the dull stampede toward materialism that one sees in some other former Eastern bloc countries. As a tourist destination Slovenia has it all, from medieval ruined monasteries to whitewater rafting. The people of this lovely land are genuinely glad that others are “discovering” their country. There are no real language problems; the younger people all speak English. Moreover, membership of the EU means that this is a country in transition. Culture Smart! Slovenia will introduce you to the inner world of this moderate, orderly, and conservative people who have emerged into the post-Communist world hungry for change.
For most of its history, Zagreb was a small town to which big things happened. It has been ruled by Hungary and the Habsburg Monarchy, threatened by the Ottomans, and absorbed into Yugoslavia. Today it is the capital city of the newly independent Croatia. In Zagreb: A Cultural History, Celia Hawkesworth guides us through a modern city that reflects all the important trends in Central European culture, architecture, and fashion. We visit the city's center, a beautiful "green horseshoe," graced with trees and public gardens, and lined with imposing buildings. Hawkesworth explores this central core and the atmospheric old town on a rise above it, finding a mix of old and modern buildings, a rich cultural tradition, and a vibrant outdoor café life. She describes the many statues in the streets and squares, commemorating those who have contributed to the city's unique inner life. She also examines the legacy of outside invasion, fire, earthquakes, and political strife, pointing to the street names that reflect Zagreb's turbulent past. Zagreb illuminates the artistic side of the city, discussing the sculpture of Ivan Mestrovic, the unique collections of paintings in the Strossmayer and Modern Galleries, and the novels and plays of Miroslav Krleza. A perfect book for armchair travelers, Zagreb takes us on a captivating tour of one of Eastern Europe's leading cities.
Eastern Europe!: Everything You Need to Know About the History (and More) of a Region that Shaped Our World and Still Does
By: Tomek E. Jankowski
Eastern Europe! is a brief and concise (but informative) introduction to Eastern Europe and its myriad customs and history. When the legendary Romulus killed his brother Remus and founded the city of Rome in 753 BCE, Plovdiv -- today the second-largest city in Bulgaria -- was already thousands of years old. Indeed, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam are all are mere infants compared to Plovdiv. This is just one of the paradoxes that haunts and defines the New Europe, that part of Europe that was freed from Soviet bondage in 1989 which is at once both much older than the modern Atlantic-facing power centers of Western Europe while also being in some ways much younger than them. Even those knowledgeable about Western Europe often see Eastern Europe as terra incognita, with a sign on the border declaring "Here be monsters." This book is a gateway to understanding both what unites and separates Eastern Europeans from their Western brethren, and how this vital region has been shaped by, but has also left its mark on, Western Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Ideal for students, businesspeople, and those who simply want to know more about where Grandma or Grandpa came from, Eastern Europe! is a user-friendly guide to a region that is all too often mischaracterized as remote, insular, and superstitious.Illustrations throughout include: 40 photos, 40 maps and 40 figures (tables, charts, etc.)
Dalmatia: Recipes from Croatia's Mediterranean Coast
By: Ino Kuvacic
Dalmatia is a celebration of the food of Croatia's Mediterranean Coast, a region with a long, rich history, but one that is only slowly coming to prominence as tourists continue to discover its rugged beauty, blue waters and rustic, simple cuisine.Alongside more than 80 achievable recipes (presented as Salads & Vegetables; Seafood; Meat; Desserts and Drinks), the book sells the dream - and a sense of discovery. It tells the story of this place, in words and pictures, communicating both to people who aspire to experience it for themselves, and to those with fond memories of having done so.Accompanied with stunning local photography of both this beautiful region and the culinary experiences it offers, Dalmatia will transport you to the shores of Croatia from your home kitchen.
The Balkans: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
By: Mark Mazower
Throughout history, the Balkans have been a crossroads, a zone of endless military, cultural, and economic mixing and clashing between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In this highly acclaimed short history, Mark Mazower sheds light on what has been called the tinderbox of Europe, whose troubles have ignited wider wars for hundreds of years. Focusing on events from the emergence of the nation-state onward, The Balkans reveals with piercing clarity the historical roots of current conflicts and gives a landmark reassessment of the regionâ€™s history, from the world wars and the Cold War to the collapse of communism, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the continuing search for stability in southeastern Europe.
Written on the brink of World War II, Rebecca West's classic examination of the history, people, and politics of Yugoslavia illuminates a region that is still a focus of international concern. A magnificent blend of travel journal, cultural commentary, and historical insight, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon probes the troubled history of the Balkans and the uneasy relationships among its ethnic groups. The landscape and the people of Yugoslavia are brilliantly observed as West untangles the tensions that rule the country's history as well as its daily life.
Forbidden Bread is an unusual love story that covers great territory, both geographically and emotionally. The author leaves behind a successful career as an American financial analyst to pursue Ales Debeljak, a womanizing Slovenian poet who catches her attention at a cocktail party. The story begins in New York City, but quickly migrates, along with the author, to Slovenia. As she struggles to forge an identity in her new home, Slovenia itself undergoes the transformation from a communist to a capitalist society. A complicated language, politically incorrect ethnic jokes, and old-fashioned sexism are just a few of the challenges Debeljak faces on her journey. Happily, she marries her poet and comes to love her new husband's family as well as the fast-disappearing rural traditions of this beautiful country. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Slovenian Ten Day War and the much longer Yugoslav wars of succession, Forbidden Bread shows a worldly and courageous woman coming to grips with her new life and family situation in a rapidly changing European landscape.
The Bridge on the Drina is a vivid depiction of the suffering history has imposed upon the people of Bosnia from the late 16th century to the beginning of World War I. As we seek to make sense of the current nightmare in this region, this remarkable, timely book serves as a reliable guide to its people and history."No better introduction to the study of Balkan and Ottoman history exists, nor do I know of any work of fiction that more persuasively introduces the reader to a civilization other than our own. It is an intellectual and emotional adventure to encounter the Ottoman world through Andric's pages in its grandiose beginning and at its tottering finale. It is, in short, a marvelous work, a masterpiece, and very much sui generis. . . . Andric's sensitive portrait of social change in distant Bosnia has revelatory force."—William H. McNeill, from the introduction"The dreadful events occurring in Sarajevo over the past several months turn my mind to a remarkable historical novel from the land we used to call Yugoslavia, Ivo Andric's The Bridge on the Drina."—John M. Mohan, Des Moines Sunday RegisterBorn in Bosnia, Ivo Andric (1892-1975) was a distinguished diplomat and novelist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. His books include The Damned Yard: And Other Stories, and The Days of the Consuls.
Forna is a born storyteller. . . . Not since Remains of the Day has an author so skillfully revealed the way history’s layers are often invisible to all but its participants. . . . Gorgeous.”John Freeman, The Boston GlobeHaunting . . . Detail builds upon detail until the dread and violence that have been barely restrained burst into the open.”Anthony Domestico, San Francisco ChronicleAn NPR, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year, The Hired Mannow available in paperbackis an incisive, powerful novel of a small Croatian town and its dark wartime secrets, unwittingly brought into the light by a family of outsiders. Duro Kolak, a stoic lifelong resident of the Croatian village of Gost, is off on a morning’s hunt when he discovers that a British family has taken up residence in a house Duro knows well. He offers his assistance getting their water working again, and soon he is at the house every day, helping get it ready as their summer cottage, and serving as their trusted confidant. But the other residents of Gost are not as pleased to have the interlopers, and as the friendship deepens, the volatile truths about the town’s past and the house’s former occupants whisper ever louder. A masterpiece of storytelling haunted by lost love and a restrained menace, The Hired Man confirms Aminatta Forna as one of our most important writers.Forna modulates the growing suspense with exquisite skill. . . . Beautiful, reminiscent in its mesmerizing clarity of William Trevor’s fiction or Per Petterson’s.”Anna Mundow, The Christian Science MonitorAbsorbing . . . Forna’s unwavering gaze compels a close look at the complexities of our shared histories.”Ellah Allfrey, NPR (online)
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.