Recommended Reading.

Here’s a list of some books I’d recommend for understanding what’s going on in the Balkans from an anti-nationalist perspective.

(Each links to an Amazon page, where you can buying them from individual sellers by clicking on ‘more buying choices: new and used.’)

Peace At Any Price – Written by UNMIK insiders, the necessary record of how and why the UN failed in post-war Kosovo, and what it looks like from the inside.

Burn This House – An anthology of writers from the anti-nationalist writers from the Balkans, essential for its history and analysis of the true power struggle – between state elites and their populations. Written before the war in Kosovo but still highly relevant.

Good People in an Evil Time – Testimonies of inter-ethnic solidarity (and intra-ethnic violence) from the war in Bosnia. Collected by Tito’s grandaughter, who served as an emergency doctor for civilians on all ‘sides’ during the war.

The Culture of Lies – A poetic diatribe against nationalist manipulations of victimhood, written by an exiled Croatian feminist. Should be required reading for every American in the present times.

The Social Construction of Man, the State, and War – A great academic text for demonstrating that the ideas which drove the wars in Yugoslavia were not extremist ideologies, but endemic to mainstream political thinking in our society; often draws from the author’s long experience as an anti-racist, anti-war activist in the u.s.

The Culture of Power in Serbia – The first to forward the ‘demobilization’ theory, that Milosevic rose to and remained in power not through popularity, but through skill in sabotaging opposition. Machiavelli for our day.

The Myth of Ethnic War – Extends the ‘demobilization’ theory to Croatia, and draws on much valuable research proving how unpopular the wars were among all the peoples of former Yugoslavia. What are commonly thought to be the causes of the wars were actually the intended effects, and here’s the proof.

Shadows of War – Demonstrates the continuity between the global ‘legitimate’ market and the black market, with a focus on the centrality of war to the global economy.

The Body of War – Drawing heavily on South Indian feminist analyses of militarism and violence, this book traces the production of war through gender representations in the media, in Croatia and Serbia. The author, a Serbian feminist, is professor of Gender, Conflict, and Development Studies at The Hague.

Imagining the Balkans – Deconstructs “Balkanism”, the construction of the Balkans as European Other, much as Said’s ‘Orientalism’ did to the West’s imperialist notions of the East.

We Are the Romani People – Written by Ian Hancock, the prolific, hard-drinking Rom who heads up the only Romani study program in the u.s., in Texas of all places. A clear-minded antidote to all the other exoticist pap.

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