At the end of the twentieth century people spoke as if the Balkans had plagued Europe forever. But two hundred years earlier, the Balkans did not exist. It was not the Balkans but the 'Rumeli' that the Ottomans ruled, the formerly Roman lands that they had conquered from Byzantium, together with it Christian inhabitants. In this original account of the region Mark Mazower dispels current Western Cliches and replaces stereotypes with a vivid account of how mountains, empires and religions have shaped its inhabitants' lives. As a bridge between Europe and Asia it has been exposed to a constant incursion of nomadic peoples across the centuries.
Mazower's narrative ranges broadly both in time and space, treating the former Turkish domains in Europe as part of a common if complex historical inheritance.
"A gem of a book, packed with illuminating information." --"The New York Review of Books""An invaluable resource for anyone hoping to gain an initial understanding of Balkan history." --"The New York Times""An excellent primer on the region's history." --"The Economist ""A highly suggestive analysis of an inexhaustible subject." --"Publishers Weekly"