9780060195748 / 0060195746

The Fracture Zone: A Return To The Balkans





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About the book:

Simon Winchester, a British newspaper reporter for 30 years and the author of 13 books (including The Professor and the Madman), has turned his attention to the Balkans, an area he visited years ago on a road trip from Vienna to Istanbul--a journey he retraced in the spring of 1999. The Fracture Zone describes both of those trips, concentrating on the history and character of the region more than the recent war and its aftermath. Winchester has spent most of his career as a foreign correspondent, but his more recent occupations as historian and a writer for Condé Nast Traveler are in evidence here. Winchester's angle on the Balkans is unique and well written: those who have been bewildered at best and bored at worst by the Balkan conflict may find that The Fracture Zone captures their interest better than hundreds of news accounts of war atrocities. "Why is there, and seemingly always has been, this dire inevitability about the Balkans being so fractious and unsettled a corner of the world?" Winchester wonders aloud. That eternal question continues to plague world statesmen and, though not fully answered here, affords the opportunity for an interesting exploration.

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