Monday, June 10, 2019

Book Irreview: The Balkans


If you have an interest in the Balkan region, but lack significant knowledge of it, you would find Mark Mazower's The Balkans to be a great place to start.  Mazower's book is short, to the point, and contains a minimum of commentary.

I must admit, until reading this book (and even after reading Robert Kaplan's excellent Balkan Ghosts), I underestimated the Ottoman Empire's effect on the region and was surprised to learn of their relative benevolence (in the Balkan region, specifically) toward their non-Muslim subjects.  Additionally, my understanding of World War I has been greatly enlightened by The Balkans, though Mazower doesn't go into as much direct detail regarding the conflict as he could have.

Anyway, at barely 200 pages, The Balkans is wonderfully informative and a very quick read.  If the history of the Balkans are of interest to you, definitely pick this one up.

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