Monthly Archives: April 2012

Book: “Language and Identity in the Balkans: Serbo-Croatian and Its Disintegration”

 review5Published in 2004, this book is about the tragedies of Bosnia and Kosovo are often explained away as the unchangeable legacy of “centuries-old hatreds.” In this richly detailed, expertly balanced chronicle of the Balkans across fifteen centuries, Dennis Hupchick sets a complicated record straight. Organized around the three great civilizations of the region–Western European, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim–this is a much-needed guide to the political, social, cultural, and religious threads of Balkan history–with a clear, convincing account of the reasons for nationalist violence and terror.

Book: “The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism”

review4Published in 2004, this book is about the tragedies of Bosnia and Kosovo are often explained away as the unchangeable legacy of “centuries-old hatreds.” In this richly detailed, expertly balanced chronicle of the Balkans across fifteen centuries, Dennis Hupchick sets a complicated record straight. Organized around the three great civilizations of the region–Western European, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim–this is a much-needed guide to the political, social, cultural, and religious threads of Balkan history–with a clear, convincing account of the reasons for nationalist violence and terror.

Book: “Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide”

review1

This book was published in 2006 by Jeffrey Goldberg and it is about two men who met in 1990 during the first Palestinian uprising. One was an American Jew who was a prison guard in the largest prison in Israel, while the other was his prisoner, Rafiq, a who was a rising leader in the PLO. Despite their fears and prejudices, they began a dialogue there that grew into a remarkable friendship—and now a remarkable book. It is a book that confronts head-on the issues dividing the Middle East, but one that also shines a ray of hope on that dark, embattled region. Prisoners is an account of life in that harsh desert prison—mean, overcrowded, and violent — and of Goldberg’s extraordinary dialogue with Rafiq, which continues to this day.