This sweeping history of the Serbian people starts with the settlement of the Slavs on the Balkan Peninsula in the seventh century and ends with the dissolution of Yugoslavia at the end of the twentieth. Drawing on his own research and on contemporary literature, Sima Cirkovic looks at how the Serbs have fared through the ages – struggling for independence against Byzantium, suffering as slaves of the Ottoman sultans, and modernizing in a troubled corner of south-eastern Europe.
Cirkovic's detailed account provides a counter-balance to traditionally one-sided political histories of the Serbs, paying close attention to the nation’s socio-economic development. His narrative gives equal weight to the medieval and modern periods, but draws from the processes of both integration and disintegration that have characterized Serbian history. The book gives readers the historical background to the Serbs, providing an essential insight into recent events.