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Books from Croatia

Books from and about Croatia: Good, interesting and relevant readings:

Ivo Andric: The Bridge Over Drina
Ivo Andric bookA grand historical narrative stretching over 500 years of Balkan history, this book should be read by everyone with an interest in European history. You won’t be able to put it down. If you have any interest in beautiful writing, humanity, and European history, it is completely indispensable. Andric uses the bridge over the river Drina as a constant against the background of shifting empires, personal tragedies, broken gamblers and distraught lovers, and gives a much more compelling vision of Bosnian identity than any journalist or historian ever could. An absolutely brilliant book one of the best you will ever read.

Miroslav Krleza: Banket in Blitva
Miroslav Krleza : Banket in BlitvaKrleza’s epic condemnation of hypocrisy and totalitarianism in pre – World War II Europe; Miroslav Krleza is considered one of the most important Central European authors of the twentieth century. In his career as a poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, essayist, journalist, and travel writer he wrote over fifty books. He also suffered condemnation – as a leftist and a practitioner of modernism – and saw his books prescribed in the late 1930s. The first two books of the trilogy The Banquet in Blitva were written in the thirties to comment on political, psychological, artistic, and ethical issues. Such commentary had already earned him the enmity of Yugoslavia’s increasingly fascistic government. He wrote and published the third book, together with the previous two, in 1962. Colonel Kristian Barutanski, lord of the mythical Baltic nation of Blitva, has freed his country from foreign oppression and now governs with an iron fist. He is opposed by Niels Nielsen, a melancholy intellectual who hurls invective at the dictator and at the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of society. Barutanski himself despises the sycophants beneath him and recognizes in Nielsen a genuine foe; yet Nielsen (Amazon co.uk)

Slavenka Drakulic: How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
Slavenka Drakulic: How We Survived Communism and Even LaughedIn Amazon.co.uk review of this book, somebody says about this book: “I’m going to give this five stars quite simply because I haven’t been able to get this book out of my head. …To most of us, our knowledge of the fall of Communism and the era beforehand is dictated from newspapers and maybe arthouse films. This book tells you what it was like day to day by the inclusion of unforgettable detail. … Drakulic reports on the depression and frustration of women who have all their choices removed. They had no personal freedom. We take all this for granted in the day to day activities that make being female so enjoyable. …This is the kind of inside information that you would never otherwise find out or give a thought to. There is violence too, and the threat of imprisonment or the removal of what meagre liberties there were. I will never take my lifestyle for granted again.” – really enjoyed reading.

Sir Fitzroy MacLean: Eastern Approaches
Sir Fitzroy MacLean : Eastern ApproachesAn account of a young diplomat’s time in Russia before World War II including his travels through Eastern Russia and Siberia. It includes his encounters with the people and his historical descriptions as well as material on his transfer to Cairo and the war in the Western desert. The final part of the book mixes military action and politics, with Maclean organizing the support for the Yugoslav Partisans and representing them to the Allies. The political agenda here is a little blurred – Maclean is obviously a Conservative who has instinctive support for the return of the Yugoslav monarchy, and yet he admires Tito for what he has achieved in the liberation of his own country, while still maintaining a personal anti-Communist agenda… This section of the book makes the sheer scale of the Partisan operations very apparent and hints at the confusion between the Western allies over the future fate of Yugoslavia. This is a splendidly readable book, full of incident and description, with vividly drawn characters. It is told with occasional gentle humour, modesty, and genuine insight. (from amazon.co.uk) Since 1960’s Sir Fitzroy MacLean had his second home on Island Korcula, Croatia. He was the only foreigner to be allowed ( by special permission of Marshal Tito) to buy his property in Communist Yugoslavia… A book by the amazing man…

Rebeca West: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

Rebeca West : Black Lamb and Grey FalconFirst appearing in two volumes in 1942, this book was written as a result of the Rebecca West’s three journeys to Yugoslavia: one in 1936, another in 1937 and finally, in the summer of 1938. At first, she thought it was folly to consider a book on such a subject and it seems that her publishers thought so too. But the book became a historical, archaeological and political analysis of the country, as well as a conversation and an account of folklore, prophecy, and a record of a landscape. The book also includes the author’s views on religion, ethics, art, myth and gender. The book was completed as Yugoslavia was plunged into political turmoil, followed by invasion and four years of merciless civil and partisan warfare. It is being re-published half a century later during equally critical times for the people of the Balkans. (amazon.co.uk)

More books about Croatia (Travel and Other Guides to Croatia)