Novi Pazar, in Serbia’s south

Europe, Serbia

Novi Pazar, in Serbia’s south

No Comments 3 October 2010

In May 2002, the Monkey enjoyed a marvelous journey across the Balkans from his then home in Bulgaria. Part of his trip took him to Novi Pazar, a small city with an interesting history in the south of Serbia. Have a look around town, why don’t you?

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Schlepp travels: Episode 3

Special features, Schlepp travels, United States, Belgium, Serbia, Turkey

Schlepp travels: Episode 3

No Comments 29 August 2010

Whenever possible, the Schlepps like to hit the road with their friend, the Monkey. In these photos from 2002 and 2003, a few of the Schlepps visit unique spots in Belgium, Turkey, the United States, and what was then Yugoslavia (now Serbia).

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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. Drakulic is a witty writer and tackles issues including memory, guilt, national identity, and the influx of the West’s crass commercialism.

The Diary of a Political Idiot: Normal Life in Belgrade
Jasmina Tesanovic (San Francisco: Midnight Editions, 2000)
As NATO bombs begin to fall on Yugoslavia in 1999, provoking an escalated refugee crisis and thousands of civilian deaths, Tesanovic documents the experience in Belgrade, the national capital. A brief, fascinating portrait of life under siege.

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.

The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo
Noam Chomsky (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1999)
With his encyclopedic knowledge, Chomsky confronts the claims of Western powers that their military interventions are rooted in humanitarian aims. He does so by exploring their own statements, the facts on the ground versus the facts it “wouldn’t do the mention”, and the alarming number of humanitarian crises where no military response is mounted. With NATO’s war against Yugoslavia as a backdrop, he makes the case that talk of humanitarian military intervention serves as useful cover for less savory strategic aims.

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