Yugoslav Themes


This compilation features books of the Central European University Press, published since its establishment in 1993, that have some relevance to Yugoslavia, its history , peoples and culture. After the latest release, titles in the backlist are arranged by content: contemporary topics are on top, older themes below. For more substantial information about the content and availability, please click on the covers of the book, or on the links inserted into the citations.

“There are two dominant topics in recent Serbian historiography on the interwar period, the institutional/governmental apparatus of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the ethnic conflicts, between Serbs and Croats.”—from the collection of excerpts from studies over the precommunist period by younger scholars of the region.
“There exists more or less a consensus in Croatia about royal Yugoslavia. And the consensus is that the first Yugoslavia, and more broadly any Yugoslav state, was bad.”
“World War II-era anti-fascist Partisans, as irregular armed groups, inherited the mantle of the heroic outlaw bands that helped fight for independence in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”
“The major part of international funding went to research projects dealing with Yugoslav minorities, but also the region’s mental mapping of mutual perception, self-representation, various stereotypes, et cetera.”

Books on the CEU Press back list, going backwards in time:

“National demagoguery flourished and culminated during World War II in a bloody civil war between Yugoslav communist partisans on the one side and Serb royalists and Croat fascist-Nazi collaborators on the other.”
This volume discusses eighteen populists from twelve European countries over the past hundred years.
“Three nationalist demagogues, Slobodan Milosević, Alija Izetbegović, and Franjo Tudman, mobilized three distinct ethnic (in reality ethnically mixed) parts of the country (Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia), and fought a protracted civil war that horrified Europe.”
“Western intervention and the positive influence of the European Union only gradually stabilized the peace and assured the political normalization and democratization in the Balkans. None of this could have happened without ridding the region of its nationalist demagogues.”

(July 1991) Bush: Germany came forward with the recognition of Slovenia. Maybe we should opt for a short statement consisting of two-three declarations. We could note our concern about the events in Yugoslavia, call on everyone to respect the ceasefire, and condemn the use of force to deal with political problems. Let the Yugoslavs decide their own fate through negotiations.
Sentences taken from the last face-to-face conversations of Cold War leaders.
Baker: We should avoid loaded wording like territorial integrity and self-determination. Self-determination is what the Germans are insisting on.
Gorbachev: I will speak on the essence of this issue. Before the start of this conversation, when the President was walking toward the building, Mr. Scowcroft and I had a conversation. I told him that even a partial breakup of Yugoslavia could create a chain reaction that will be worse than a nuclear reaction.

When published in Belgrade in 1978, Avala is Falling “was greeted as an example of a kind of text described as ‘jeans-prose’ because of the narrative style: a first-person narrator’s rebellious, youthful tone, colored by adolescent slang. She is seen to use her body as a way of understanding herself and her position in the world.”— about the novel in Voices in the Shadows.
The author, Biljana Jovanović (1953-1996), “was among the first women writers to introduce a new kind of self-conscious female character to South-Slavic literature. The novels are peppered with references to everyday life under former Yugoslav ‘soft communism’.”—from the Biographical Dictionary.

“Unlike their counterparts in the Eastern European and Soviet regimes, who often were unable to publish their work at all and had, instead, to circulate it clandestinely in samizdat editions, the writers in Croatia and Serbia were mostly able, between 1965 and 1991, to publish their work and receive reviews, national awards and other forms of state and public recognition.”—from a book on the transnational dimensions of literature.
“In the Cold War 1960s, Yugoslavia caught the imagination of readers abroad as a socialist country outside the Soviet sphere of influence. This became a magnet for both readers and publishers, especially after Ivo Andrić received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich broke ground, publishing chiefly critical intellectual writers from Serbia and Montenegro.”

“Hitler decided to send a large invasion force into Yugoslavia. Local resistance not only delayed the inception of Operation Barbarossa but also required that Berlin station troops in Croatia and Serbia in order to support the local collaborationist regimes.”—from a monograph on alternatives to democracy.
“The Yugoslavs’ divergent path to socialism was both a response to the crisis created by Stalin in 1947–48, and a source for renewed arguments between the Soviet and Yugoslav communist parties.”
“The two multiethnic states which have fallen apart in the past seventy years—Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union—were not democracies but decaying one-party systems operating under communist hegemony.”

“In 1938, the book Ekonomska podloga hrvatskog nacionalnog pitanja by Rudolf Bicanic claimed that in comparison with Serbia the amount of taxes collected for each inhabitant of Croatia was twofold, in Slovenia almost threefold, and in Vojvodina fivefold.”—from a collection of essays on the nationalism-economy nexus.
“In the mid-1980s a group of Serbian members of the Academy presented their outlook on Serbia in the Yugoslav state in a memorandum. The authors stated that in Yugoslavia after 1945, Serbia had been politically and economically inferior, even discriminated against.”
“Serbian politicians introduced an economic boycott against Slovenia.The effect of the boycott in fact had the opposite effect, since it only accelerated the actual disintegration of the Yugoslav state.”

“The most popular local Western hero was Harry Jackson, the ‘cowboy from Bijeljina.’ This was actually Aljuš Musli, the owner of the camera shop named ‘Western’ in that small Bosnian town.”—from a monograph on the Americanization of Yugoslav culture in the sixties.
“Out of all the off-Broadway troupes, Living Theater toured Yugoslavia as early as 1966, giving performances in Sarajevo, Mostar, Zenica, and Banjaluka.”
“Pepsi-Cola was produced in Serbia, this American product had a Yugoslav character, because the bottles were made in a glass factory in Paracin (Serbia), the caps in Ljubljana (Slovenia), and the crates in Ajdovscina (Slovenia) and Kavadarci (Macedonia).”

“As its very name suggests, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes faced great complexities. At the general census of 1931, its 14 million citizens did not declare their nationality, only language and religion.”—from the volume on intellectuals and the totalitarian temptation.
“In its Serbo-Croatian (etničko čišćenje) and Romanian form (purificare etnică), the term ethnic cleansing was coined before World War II to further the ethnic homogenization of the Romanian and Yugoslav nation-building projects.”
“Yugoslavia presents a striking case of humiliating dissolution followed by frustration and resentment. In April 1941, it was attacked, defeated, and partitioned by the Axis. What followed was four years best described as bellum omni contra omnes.”
The reader follows the historian Vasa Čubrilović’s road from the Young Bosnia conspiracy in 1914 through an ethnic cleansing campaigner in 1944 to an opponent of the spirit of the SANU Memorandum in 1986.

“General Badoglio, the deputy chief of staff, received a ‘plan for action among the Yugoslavs’ from Trieste, which emphasized strong anti-Serbian currents in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Macedonia, and proposed use of widespread propaganda to incite the local populations’ separatist tendencies.”– from a monograph on the Croatian fascist leader.
“Jasenovac was the symbol of the annihilation policy applied by the Independent State of Croatia during the four years of its existence. Most Croats not only did not take part in the crimes committed by the Ustasha, but also were frequently victims themselves.”

Books partly or fully on Yugoslav themes: