Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide" by Branimir Anzulovic [10]

[Ed. note: I'm in a hurry to finish this review and move on, and I'm rushed for time--I apologize for the brevity of this post, but hopefully by now I have managed to convey at least a hint of the breadth and depth of Anzulovic's analysis. --Kirk]


The Acceptance of Heavenly Serbia

A brief discussion of Western acceptance of the image of self-sacrificing, heroic, "heavenly" Serbia at face value.

Balkanization or Scandinavianization

Contrasts the conventional wisdom that "Balkanization" is inevitably a bad thing with the example of Scandinavia, where five nations were carved out of two, which resulted in a lessening of national tensions, and an increase in regional cooperation.

The Imaginary Bulwark

Longer section detailing longstanding support for the creation of, first, a Greater Serbia, and then a Serb-dominated southeast Balkan kingdom. Also detailed is how the Allies of World War I mistakenly believed that the new country would provide a bulwark against Germany, but the Yugoslav governments had good relations with Germany, even the Nazi regime.

Indifference Makes a Difference

The title says it all; a grim and familiar history of western indifference during the 1990s, when a firm stand by the Western world could have saved thousands of lives and made the prospects of a stable peace much better. As Anzulovic writes:

" does not prevent wars by assuring the potential aggressor that his victims would not receive any support."

Fig-Leaf Myths

Discussion of some of the justifications used by Westerners to justify the indifference of the previous section, including the tired canard that the people of the Balkans are simply consumed with violent passions and are immune to reason and the restraints of civilization. Robert Kaplan, Rebecca West, Lewis MacKenzie, and other familiar names make an appearance here.


I fully admit to not having done this material credit. I hope I encourage at least one person to read this book. In my next post, I will briefly summarize the Conclusion and give my own final thoughts on the book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about not going over Lewis MacKenzie again. I noticed that his ardent champion of a number of posts ago never bothered to come back to argue out the defence.