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Publisher's Summary

In this fascinating work, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History Mark Mazower uncovers the history of the Balkans with detail and clarity. He explores the reasons for current conflicts and examines the Balkans as a religious, cultural, and economic melting pot for Europe and Asia. Through Robert O'Keefe's articulate narration, listeners will be absorbed by this rich world.
©2000 Mark Mazower; (P)Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    29
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • David
  • North Wales, PA, USA
  • 09-30-05

Thorough History...

This was a good listen. The author gives a good sense of the history of the region leading up to the present day, helping to explain why the Balkans became such a troubled region in the '90s. For anyone who is/was curious as to what was behind the recent strifes (beyond what the media told us), then this would be a good read. The only downside to the book is that it is sometimes chronilogically out of order. I'm not sure the author had much choice given how many present-day events are tied to past events, but it makes for several "what happened when?" moments. Nonetheless, I a good and thorough listen.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Balkans

This is a serious scholarly book, unbiased, well researched and very informative. A good listen and must have book for everyone who is interested on the history of the people in the Balkan region.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Must Read for understanding of the Balkans

I have read several books on the Balkans but none caught my attention as much as this one did. I just really think that the author did a great job in describing historical facts in an interesting way. Really was hard to shut this book off. Made me wish I had an Atlas with me at all times. Hopefully policy makers listen or read these books to get a sound history on areas that have become hotspots.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • John
  • ASHBURN, VA, United States
  • 07-02-14

Good Cure for Insomnia

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Other professional historians might appreciate this book.

What could Mark Mazower have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

If the book meandered less, and was less soporific, it might have been more enjoyable.

How could the performance have been better?

If the performance could have kept me awake in spite of the poor material, it might have been better.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Balkans [Modern Library Chronicles]?

I would have shortened the sentences, and tried to bring some thematic coherence to the book.

Any additional comments?

The author's meandering and soporific prose, and the narrator's soothing performance, managed to make Balkan history actually boring - a remarkable achievement.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Now I understand what all the fuss is about

This recording explains the seeds of strife in the modern Balkans -- why hatred and mistrust has lingered for so long. It's "quick history" but a very illuminating introductory view of the area for someone who has no knowledge of the area.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good material loosely arraigned.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is an extremely interesting topic. The details are very interesting. I feel the author could arraign the material more logically.

What does Robert O'Keefe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Very well read.

Was The Balkans [Modern Library Chronicles] worth the listening time?

Definitely yes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Peter
  • Middleton, WI, United States
  • 10-05-17

layer cake of history

This provides a good explanation of the term balkanization; it is a bewilderingly complex story of conquests, resentments, competing civilizations, ideologies, and rugged landscapes. It was a bit challenging keeping all the players, invaders, and religious leaders in their respective places. Writing and narration were adequate.

  • Overall
  • Daniel
  • Grand Junction, CO, USA
  • 04-03-06

Ther's got to be an easier way

Jumping around in themes and chronology, I had a hard time following this one. Seems to assume you know quite a lot about European history already, so dont start learinng the region with this one.,,and a strange theme for the last chapter to end on.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Muddled

The author apparently believes he has a theme, but what it might be isn't clear. His assertions that such-and-such is obviously true seem to come out of nowhere. Some interesting factoids, not much coherence.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sotiris
  • Toronto, NY, USA
  • 05-13-07

Don't waste your time.

Just another revisionist let loose on the public at large.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful