The Fracture Zone: My Return to the Balkans

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Harper Collins, Oct 27, 2009 - History - 272 pages
7 Reviews
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A True Portrait of One of the World's Most Chaotic and Beautiful Regions That Explains Why Violence Has Always Occurred There--And Why It May Continue For Years To Come

The vast and mountainous area that makes up the Balkans is rife with discord, both cultural and topographical. And, as Simon Winchester superbly demonstrates in this intimate portrait of the region, much of the political strife of the past century can be traced to its inherent contrasts. With the aid of a guide and linguist, Winchester traveled deep into the region's most troublesome areas--including Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Turkey--just as the war was tearing these countries apart. The result is a book not just about war but also about how war affects the living. Both timeless and current, The Fracture Zone goes behind the headlines to offer a true picture of a region that has always been on the brink. Winchester's remarkable journey puts all the elements together--the faults, the fractures, and the chaos--to make sense out of a seemingly senseless place.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sonofcarc - LibraryThing

I don't see how a book abut the Balkans can be taken seriously that doesn't mention Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Not that that is an infallible book, but as a reference point it seems indispensable. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - statmonkey - LibraryThing

Just finished this and not sure what to make of it. I enjoyed it, it was interesting but in the end it just left me empty. I am not sure that there was really any point and the conclusion I did draw ... Read full review


Authors Note xi
A Meeting with a Turkish Gentleman 33
To the Land of the Osmanlees 57
Looking for a Sarajevo Rose 81
The Fortress by the Sea 105
Western Approaches 133
The Lifting of the Gate 159
The Sound and the Fury 181
A City So Sublime 207

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About the author (2009)

Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. In 2006, Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He resides in western Massachusetts.

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