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Publisher's Summary

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 20th 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 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.

©1993, 1996, 2005 Robert D. Kaplan (P)2020 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Balkan Ghosts

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Badly researched, one sided and ignorant at the times.

Well, another great review from somebody who falsely claims being impartial (and even less informed) . No wonder Mr Obama was confused. The whole science fiction work sounds like commissioned by marshal tito. yugoslav nostalgia dripping from every page.

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Anti religious/anti catholic hit piece

Narrator was great but biased hit piece overall. Loved the narrator though. would not recommend

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Interesting, but Problematic

Robert Kaplan does exactly what he set out to do. He creates a well written and compelling travelogue/ series of essays on his experience in the Balkans in the 1980s, that highlight key issues and conflicts. Yet it is problematic for a few reasons. He often tells histories through questionable narratives and often leaves the reader/listener confused about the breath of historic events. On top of that his generalizations and reliance on personal friendships reveals a bit of a bias. He makes good points, but also generalizations. I am also a bit skeptical of the effectiveness of this style of book over such a huge and diverse area. He might have said it best at the beginning when he suggested such a book could encourage readers to read more on this subject and thus develop a stronger understanding of the region themselves.

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Exceedingly well narrated for a very interesting book

This is more than a travel book. Kaplan writes with clarity and erudition giving the reader an interesting wealth of historical background.

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No Central Theme

The book drifts too much and there is nothing solid in it. Too many stories NOT tied together makes this a bad book.

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Well written history infused travelogue with some kind of cringy takes

I found it a fascinating listen that was well plotted out and gave lots of great background history to the situation in the Balkans in the early nineties. The real downside is the author’s orientalist bent that constantly defines the East as “mysterious and magical” and the West as “logical and orderly.” For how much nuance there is in many aspects of the book, this sometimes felt generalizing.

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I felt privileged to read it

Not the first Kaplan book I've read but certainly the best. I loved the singular travelogue perspective through space and time. It's very well written and delivered and I learned much despite having traveled to many of these places during the same years. I didn't want it to end. This is what makes audiobooks worth it! And for those who feel shorted by the less than a master class in Balkan history, or too one-sided, I say, ha! That proves the point. That's why they call it "Balkanization." No one is ever happy about anything.