Homeland Calling: Exile Patriotism & the Balkan Wars

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Cornell University Press, 2003 - History - 289 pages

Over the last ten years, many commentators have tried to explain the bloody conflicts that tore Yugoslavia apart. But in all these attempts to make sense of the wars and ethnic violence, one crucial factor has been overlooked--the fundamental roles played by exile groups and émigré communities in fanning the flames of nationalism and territorial ambition. Based in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and South America, some groups helped provide the ideologies, the leadership, the money, and in many cases, the military hardware that fueled the violent conflicts. Atypical were the dissenting voices who drew upon their experiences in western democracies to stem the tide of war. In spite of the diasporas' power and influence, their story has never before been told, partly because it is so difficult, even dangerous to unravel. Paul Hockenos, a Berlin-based American journalist and political analyst, has traveled through several continents and interviewed scores of key figures, many of whom had never previously talked about their activities. In Homeland Calling, Hockenos investigates the borderless international networks that diaspora organizations rely on to export political agendas back to their native homelands--agendas that at times blatantly undermined the foreign policy objectives of their adopted countries.Hockenos tells an extraordinary story, with elements of farce as well as tragedy, a story of single-minded obsession and double-dealing, of high aspirations and low cunning. The figures he profiles include individuals as disparate as a Canadian pizza baker and an Albanian urologist who played instrumental roles in the conflicts, as well as other men and women who rose boldly to the occasion when their homelands called out for help.

--Carl Bildt, former UN Special Envoy for the Balkans and former High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina "Skidmore Scope"

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

This book essentially breaks down into three case studies, as the author examines how the expatriate Croatian, Serbian, and Kosovar communities interacted with their national "leaderships." These ... Read full review


Picnic in Mississauga
Reconciling Croatia
The Avengers of Bleiburg
Making Baby MiGs
Serbia Little Helpers
White Eagles over Chicago
The New Lingua Franca
Turning on Slobo
Skanderbegs Way
Birth of a Lobby
Exile on Konigstrasse
Frankie Goes to Kosovo
Selected Bibliography

Kosovo Made in Yugoslavia

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Page 9 - I have argued that exile can produce rancor and regret, as well as a sharpened vision. What has been left behind may either be mourned, or it can be used to provide a different set of lenses. Since almost by definition exile and memory go together, it is what one remembers of the past and how one remembers it that determine how one sees the future.

About the author (2003)

Paul Hockenos is a writer and political analyst living in Berlin. He is the author of Free to Hate: The Rise of the Right in Post-Communist Eastern Europe, and his articles and commentaries on Central Europe and the Balkans have appeared in World Policy Journal, The New Statesman and Society, The Nation, and The Christian Science Monitor, as well as many other periodicals. From 1997 to 1999 he worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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