"A highly readable narrative of nineteenth and twentiety century Serbian history told with verve and deep knowledge."
—Mark Mazower, author of Dark Continent: Europe in the Twentieth Century
"Pavlowitch has consistently maintained a very high standard of accuracy and scholarship in all of his work on the former Yugoslavia."
— New York Review of Books, April 25, 2002
Serbias have come and gone, and they have moved from place to place. This book looks at the historical forces, actors, ideas, and period which have molded the entities that go by the name "Serbia." In Serbia: The History of an Idea we learn about the medieval rulers and the church, the imperial rule of Ottomans and Hapsburgs, the two World Wars, the Yugoslav kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and, of course, modern Yugoslavia.
At the time of Serbia's emergence from the ruins of Tito's Yugoslavia and of Milosevic's regime, Stevan Pavlowitch shuns the "doomed to violence" and the "doomed to martyrdom" paradigms favored respectively by some Western and Serbian analysts in order to pose difficult questions about Serbian history.
Pavlowitch seeks to move forward from the past rather than look back to idealized ages or read history backwards from the last ten years. Serbia: The History of an Idea offers readers a look into the historical entities that have played a crucial, and sometimes devastating, role in the formation of Serbia, from the aftermath of Yugoslavia to its current political state.