This is a close study of the history of the public image of the Balkans in Britain from 1900-1945. Ever since the end of the Cold War the Balkans have preoccupied European public opinion much more than any other region of the old Eastern bloc. To a large extent this is a result of the wars following the break-up of Yugoslavia. The conflicts of the 1990s raised a series of questions about the nature of Balkan history as compared to an assumed European norm. Even more, they triggered prolonged discussions on the form and timing of foreign engagement in the region, both during the war, and ahead of the eastward expansion of the European Union. These public debates underlay the emergence of a related academic interest in intercultural contacts between the Balkans and the rest of Europe over the last three centuries. This book is a close study of the history of the Balkan images in Britain in the first half of the 20th century, and of the channels through which these were built. It proposes new interpretative models for broader research in the formation of public images of foreign lands.
Eugene Michail is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Sussex. His research focuses on central and southeastern European history and on inter-European cultural and political contacts in the 19th and 20th century.
Introduction: The making of images; Chapter 1: Past links revisited; Chapter 2: The ambivalence of violence; Chapter 3: The intimacy of war; Chapter 4: Experts and their networks; Chapter 5: The imaginative power of the trivial; Chapter 6: Travelling and the standard of modernity; Conclusion: locating the Balkans; Bibliography; Index.