Views from Dubrovnik’s city walls

Europe, Croatia, Dubrovnik

Views from Dubrovnik’s city walls

No Comments 7 August 2010

During his 2002 visit to Croatia, the Monkey jumped at the chance to walk the entire circuit of the Dubrovnik’s medieval walls. Why not join him on his tour?

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Dubrovnik’s war wounds

Europe, Croatia, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s war wounds

No Comments 7 August 2010

During the wars that led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik was shelled by federal forces. While much of Dubrovnik has since been rebuilt by the time of his 2002 visit, the Monkey explored one place that had scarcely changed since the days of the war.

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Dubrovnik, Croatia’s jewel

Europe, Croatia, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia’s jewel

No Comments 7 August 2010

With its limestone walls and stunning setting between sea and mountains, Dubrovnik is a treasure of a city. The Monkey made his way there overland from Bulgaria back in 2002.

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Recommended reading

A Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe
Dennis P. Hupchick and Harold E. Cox (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996)
Any traveler knows the importance of a good map. This handy book provides a slew of historical maps that help illuminate the complicated contours of the various Balkan empires and states, providing a foundation for deeper understanding of Eastern European history.

Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History
Robert D. Kaplan (New York: Vintage, 1993)
Covering his travels in 1980s Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Yugoslavia, Kaplan wrote this politically tinged book on the cusp of the changes that would envelop the post-Cold War Balkans.

The Balkans: A Short History
Mark Mazower (New York: Modern Library Paperback, 2002)
As the title says, a short history of the Balkan region. A helpful intro to this corner of Europe.

The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804-1999
Misha Glenny (New York: Penguin, 2001)
A rather epic undertaking by a former BBC correspondent for Central Europe, this book traces the tumultuous two centuries of the Balkan states’ struggles for independence from the Ottoman Empire, the emergence of pan-Slavic tendencies and their tribulations, and the reign of various regimes of the right and left during the 20th Century. A worthwhile read—don’t let its dimensions frighten you…

Café Europa: Life After Communism
Slavenka Drakulic (New York: Penguin, 1996)
An interesting read that captures a Balkan perspective on the early days after the Fall of the Wall, and in the midst of the break-up of Yugoslavia. Croatian Drakulic is a witty writer and tackles issues including memory, guilt, national identity, and the influx of the West’s crass commercialism.

Description of a Struggle: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Eastern European Writing
Editor: Michael March (New York: Vintage Books, 1994: Out of print)
A great anthology of short stories from the former Eastern Bloc, providing an evocative snap shot of the early post-Cold War era. Stories are organized by state, with the Bulgarian Victor Paskov’s tale of “Romanian” exiles in the Paris Metro a particular highlight.

The Impossible Country: A Journey Through the Last Days of of Yugoslavia
Brian Hall (New York: Penguin, 1994)
Hall’s travelogue traces his visits to key places in 1991 Yugoslavia, just as the country begins to disintegrate along ethno-national lines. The foreboding sense of imminent violence drips from every page.

To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia
Michael Parenti (London: Verso, 2000)
In a fiery tome, Parenti makes the case that Yugoslavia’s disintegration was a deliberate result of Western policy, carried out by NATO guns and the privatizing forces of Western economic interests. A book that challenges many of the preconceptions about Yugoslavia and NATO’s interventions there.

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