9780300069334 / 0300069332

Croatia: A Nation Forged in War


3.83 avg rating66 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Yale University Press, 1997



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About the book:

From the ashes of former Yugoslavia an independent Croatian state has arisen, the fulfilment, in the words of President Franjo Tudjman, of the Croats' "1000 old dream of independence". Yet few countries in Europe have been born amid such bitter controversy and bloodshed: the savage war between pro-independence forces and the Yugoslav army left about one-third of the country in ruins and resulted in the flight of a quarter of a million of the country's Serbian minority. In this book a journalist who witnessed much of the war from Sarajevo and Zagreb traces the rise, fall and rebirth of Croatia from its medieval origins to today's tentative peace. Marcus Tanner describes the creation of the first Croatian kingdom; its absorption into feudal Hungary in the middle age; Croatia's reduction to a tiny sliver of territory after the Ottoman invasion; the absorption of this fragment into Habsburg Austria; the evolution of modern Croatian nationalism after the French Revolution; and the circumstances that propelled Croatia into the arms of Nazi Germany and the brutal, home-grown "Ustashe" movement in the World War II. Finally, drawing on interviews with many of the leading figures in today's affairs, Tanner explains the failure of Tito's communists to "kill home rule by kindness" by turning Yugoslavia into a federal state, and Yugoslavia's violent implosion after his death. Croatia's unique position on the crossroads of Europe - between eastern and western christendom, the Mediterranean and the Balkans and between the old Habsburg and Ottoman empires - has been both a curse and a blessing, inviting the attention of larger and more powerful neighbours. The turbulence and drama of Croatia's past, Tanner argues, are unlikely to disappear in the near future.

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