Bosnia-Hercegovina dominated news coverage in the 1990s, yet the country remains the most misunderstood in Europe, frequently stereotyped as a land of perennial ethnic violence or occasionally admired as a former haven of multinational coexistence. In this, the first comprehensive study of national identity in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the author seeks to explain what being Bosnian has really meant for successive generations of Muslims, Serbs, Croats, and Jews. Hoare examines the origins of Bosnia and of its constituent peoples, tracing their evolution through periods of Ottoman, Habsburg and Yugoslav rule, through the genocidal atrocities of World War II, Communist-led revolution and dictatorship, the Bosnian declaration of independence in 1992 and the violence that followed. He shows how different Bosnians related to the common homeland in different ways, depending on their religion, class or political persuasion; and how this provided the basis among them both for cooperation and for conflict.
Marko Attila Hoare is a Fellow at the Faculty of History of the University of Cambridge. He has been studying the history of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the past ten years and is intimately acquainted with the country, as well as with Croatia and Serbia. His first book, How Bosnia Armed, was published by Saqi in 2004 and his second book, Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: the Partisans and the Chetniks, 1941-1943 is due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2005. This is his third book.