Let me begin by saying that I don't believe this book deserves the five star rating I have given it. Ms. Vickers is not a top tier writer and she definately has sympathies towards the Kosovars. What she is successful at though is painting a picture of moderm Kosovo. She slashes and burns her way through history but as she describes the modern happenings her book blooms. You won't find many books detailing the rise of Albanian resistance in the early 80's or the shadow government of the early 90's. For that she deserves credit. She explains why this passive resistance was needed and why, eventually, it failed and was replaced by a more militant creed. For those of you out there who come across this page do not pay attention to the 1 star ratings. It does not deserve them. It doesn't deserve my 5 star rating either, but raising it's average a bit might draw some new readers. I would give it between 3-4 stars depending on why you are reading it. If you are interested...
Miranda Vickers does an excellent job of distilling the available primary and secondary historical and geographical material on the former Yugoslavia into a lucid and compelling book. Unlike some writers, she footnotes her sources so the reader can form his or her own opinions based on further reading. Ms. Vickers does not provide in-depth detail because the objective of this book is to provide a synopsis. Her work supports the contention that rivalries of the various ethnic groups have waxed and waned but long been a source of bloodshed. The worst scenarios in this book involved the spilling of blood as the Serbs attempted to overthrow assorted conquerers including the Ottoman Turks, Austrians, Hungarians, Nazis and others. Vickers says the Albanian question is extremely thorny and very old. On the one hand, the Albaninans in Kosovo seemed not to have much interest in being part of Albania proper (probably owing to the radically different and worse standards of...
I recommend the third part of this book the most. While the first two parts examine the Turk occupation, and later the progressive Albanianisation of Kosovo under socialist Yugoslavia, the third provides a detailed description of how the Albanians shifted from a peaceful resistance movement to a more violent approach. This is particularly relevant when current news feature the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) while such body started operating only after the Dayton accords, when the international powers implicity agreed on the creation of a state (the Republika Srpska in Bosnia) by means of force. Therefore the Albanians gained the impression that their peaceful movement had achieved virtually nothing and no serious international attention.
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