by Ivo Goldstein
Ivo Goldstein is a Professor of Medieval History at the University of Zagreb and a former Director of the Institute for Croatian History of the University of Zagreb.
In Croatia: A History, Professor Goldstein
presents a welcome and scholarly history providing an invaluable, authoritative view of Croatian culture and national character, both in its own terms and in relation to it's immediate neighbors.
A Good and Balanced Overview- April 26, 2000
Reviewer: richard_t from Europe
Goldstein, a professor at the University of Zagreb, wrote this history specifically to be translated for non-Croatian readers.
Therefore its brevity must be considered a virtue, as most readers would not have the patience nor the interest to wade through hundreds of pages on medieval Balkan history.
However, it does not provide anything more than a series of dates and vaguely connected events until hitting its stride in the 20th century.
Left largely untold are the fascinating stories of Croatia's more distant past.
Tomislav, the first Croatian king who ushered in early westernizing influences merits but six vague lines, while Jelacic, the tragic nineteenth-century hero gets more attention, but Goldstein
fails to describe either his
military campaigns or the fascinating story of his
decline and death.
is clearly a Croatian patriot, but he
is no nationalist and no apologist for Tudjman's corrupt and hateful brand of politics.
criticizes Tudjman and Milosevic and the Krajina Serbs equally.
places the most emphasis on the twentieth century, however, since he
intended this book for foreign readers, who he
correctly assumed are more interested in recent history and the background to the current events so extensively covered in the news over the last decade.
This is actually ironic, since Goldstein
is one of Croatia's foremost authorities on medieval history and the Byzantine Empire.
chapters on medieval and early modern Croatian history are probably the best short survey of this period in Croatia in any language.
This takes nothing away from the last few chapters.