A Modern History
Author: Miranda Vickers
This is the first full account of a country that, following decades of isolation, has undergone unprecedented changes to its political system: the collapse of communism, the progression to multi-party elections and the upheaval that followed the March 1997 uprising. Miranda Vickers traces the history of the Albanian people from the Ottoman period to the formation of the Albanian Communist Party. She considers the charismatic leadership of Enver Hoxha; Albania’s relationship with Tito and the alliance with the Soviet Union and then China; and the long period of isolation. Newly revised for this paperback edition, The Albanians considers the gradual process of reform and the fragility of the Albanian experiment with democracy, and includes a dramatic account of the days leading up to Sali Berisha’s resignation of the presidency. It has now been updated to cover the crisis in Kosovo that has led to the first ‘Western’ war in Europe since 1945.
From Dictatorship to Democracy in Europe
Author: Fred C. Abrahams
Publisher: NYU Press
In the early 1990s, Albania, arguably Europe’s most closed and repressive state, began a startling transition out of forty years of self-imposed Communist isolation. Albanians who were not allowed to practice religion, travel abroad, wear jeans, or read “decadent” Western literature began to devour the outside world. They opened cafés, companies, and newspapers. Previously banned rock music blared in the streets. Modern Albania offers a vivid history of the Albanian Communist regime’s fall and the trials and tribulations that led the country to become the state it is today. The book provides an in-depth look at the Communists' last Politburo meetings and the first student revolts, the fall of the Stalinist regime, the outflows of refugees, the crash of the massive pyramid-loan schemes, the war in neighboring Kosovo, and Albania’s relationship with the United States. Fred Abrahams weaves together personal experience from more than twenty years of work in Albania, interviews with key Albanians and foreigners who played a role in the country’s politics since 1990—including former Politburo members, opposition leaders, intelligence agents, diplomats, and founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army—and a close examination of hundreds of previously secret government records from Albania and the United States. A rich, narratively-driven account, Modern Albania gives readers a front-row seat to the dramatic events of the last battle of Cold War Europe.
Author: Tajar Zavalani,Robert Elsie,Bejtullah Destani
The History of Albania by Tajar Zavalani (1903-1966) is the first full-length history of Albania to have been written in English. It covers the period from ancient times to the mid-twentieth century and provides the reader with a good overview of the historical development of a Balkan nation, which has to a large extent been ignored, even by scholars and specialists in Southeast European history. Retrieved after fifty years of oblivion, the fruits of Zavalani's imposing project are now available to the reading public for the first time. Tajar Zavalani was born in Korça (Albania) and fled to Italy with the rise of the dictatorship of Ahmet Zogu. There, Soviet agents recruited him and offered to let him study in Russia as a “victim of counter-revolution.” In November 1930, after several years of study in Moscow and Leningrad, he left Russia, about which he now had serious misgivings. After the Italian invasion of Albania in 1939, Zavalani was interned in northern Italy, from where he escaped with his wife, Selma Zavalani (1915-1995), former lady-in-waiting to Queen Geraldine, via Switzerland to France and then in 1940, with King Zog's party, on into exile in England. In November 1940, Zavalani was given a job in the BBC's new Albanian-language service, which he came to head and where he worked until his death in an accident on 19 August 1966. He was a well-known and active figure of the Albanian exile community in Britain. The present History of Albania was composed for the most part between 1961 and 1963.About the Editors:Robert Elsie is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Albanian studies and the author of many books on the history and culture of Albania.Bejtullah Destani is a British-Kosovar scholar and founder of the Centre for Albanian Studies in London. As a diplomat, he has served recently at the Embassies of the Republic of Kosovo in London and Rome.
Reshaping the Balkans
Author: James Pettifer,Miranda Vickers
In 1997 the previously little-known and isolated Balkan country of Albania exploded as the first armed uprising in mainland Europe since the 1920s brought the country to the brink of civil war. As the violence spread first to neighbouring Kosovo, then to south-east Serbia and finally to former Yugoslav Macedonia, the Albanian question increasingly took center stage in world affairs. This book examines Albania's place in the Balkans, a region which had been forced simultaneously to come to terms with the realities of a post-Communist world and the threat of Slobodan Milosevic's "Greater Serbia" project.
From Anarchy to a Balkan Identity
Author: Miranda Vickers,James Pettifer
Publisher: NYU Press
WITH A NEW POSTSCRIPT Situated between Greece on the south, the former Yugoslavia on the north and east, and the Adriatic Sea on the west, Albania is the country the world forgot. Throughout this century, Albania has been perceived as primitive and isolationist by its neighbors to the west. When the country ended fifty years of communist rule in 1992, few outsiders took interest. Deemed unworthy of membership in the European Union and overlooked by multinational corporations, Albania stands today as one of the poorest and most ignored countries in Europe. Miranda Vickers and James Pettifer take us behind the veil of former President Enver Hoxha's isolationist policies to examine the historic events leading up to Albania's transition to a parliamentary government. Beginning with Hoxha's death in 1985, Albania traces the last decade of Albania's shaky existence, from the anarchy and chaos of the early nineties to the victory of the Democratic Alliance in 1992 and the programs of the current government. The authors provide us with an analysis of how the moral, religious, economic, political and cultural identity of the Albanian people is being redefined, and leave no question that the future of Albania is inextricably linked to the future of the Balkans as a whole. In short, they tell us why Albania matters.
Myth and History
Author: Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers,Bernd Jürgen Fischer
Publisher: Indiana University Press
"... a pioneering effort in English-language studies on Albania." --Nicholas C. Pano Albanian history is permeated by myths and mythical narratives that often serve political purposes, from the depiction of the legendary "founder of the nation," Skanderbeg, to the exploits of the KLA in the recent Kosovo War. The essays in Albanian Identities, by a multinational, multidisciplinary team of scholars and non-academic specialists, deconstruct prevalent political or historiographical myths about Albania's past and present, bringing to light the ways in which Albanian myths have served to justify and direct violence, buttress political power, and foster internal cohesion. Albanian Identities demonstrates the power of myths to this day, as they underpin political and social processes in crisis-ridden, post-totalitarian Albania.
Author: Lloyd Jones
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Peter Shapello is a village dentist in Albania until one day he recieves a visit that changes his life - and an offer he can't refuse. He will become the double for Albania's Great Leader, Enver Hoxha, the man who stands in for him on official engagements. As the unnamed narrator of Biografi goes in search of Shapello, the bizarre reality of his country reveals itself. A highly original travel book first published in 1993, Biografi is about the creation of new lives, apparitions and subversive histories. It is at once an adventure quest and a tour de force of imaginative writing - mysterious, shocking, poignant and sometimes grimly funny.
Author: Adam YAMEY
Albanian communities have been in existence in Sicily for over 500 years. Albanians have been living in Sicily since the 15th century. They have preserved their language and and traditions that pre-date the arrival of the Ottomans in the Balkans. This volume is about the descendants of the Albanians who left their Balkan homelands when they were invaded by the Ottoman Turks in the 15th century. Known as the Arbereshe in Sicily and the other parts of Italy where they settled, many of the descendants of these refugees have managed to continue their Albanian traditions, culture, and language whilst integrating harmoniously with their Italian neighbours. In this book, Adam Yamey describes his visit to the Sicilian Arbereshe people and illustrates it with a profusion of fascinating photographs. Combining personal observation with in-depth research, this - at times entertaining, and always informative - personal travelogue is one of only a few books in English about Sicily's Albanians.
A Short History
Author: Noel Malcolm
Category: Europe, Southern
From the author of the critically acclaimed Bosnia: A Short History comes a 'magisterial work of history' TLS
A Documentary History
Author: Robert Elsie,Bejtullah D. Destani,Rudina Jasini
Despite the extensive analysis of the historical, political and legal background of many Balkan conflicts in recent years, little attention has been paid to the tragedy of the Cham ethnic community. In 1913 the territories inhabited by almost half of the Albanian population were exempted from the boundaries of the new state of Albania. Nearly 700,000 ethnic Albanians found their homelands incorporated into Serbia and Greece and the land of the Chams, a coastal area between southern Albania and north-west Greece known as 'Chameria', was entirely incorporated into Greece. Since that time, the predominantly Muslim Chams have faced severe persecution in Greece, including forced expulsion from their homes, particularly under the Metaxas regime in the 1930s and also during World War II. The documents gathered together in this book address all of the periods of forced expulsions of the Cham population from Greece. The publication of these documents provides an unparalleled historical record of the Cham story, but more importantly illustrates the violations of human rights inflicted upon the Cham community. This book will be essential reading for scholars of Balkan history, politics and legal issues. It will provide a fascinating insight into one of the forgotten tragedies of the twentieth century.
The Iron Fist of Albania
Author: Blendi Fevziu
Stalinism, that particularly brutal phase of the Communist experience, came to an end in most of Europe with the death of Stalin in 1953. However, in one country - Albania - Stalinism survived virtually unscathed until 1990. The regime that the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha led from 1944 until his death in 1985 was incomparably severe. Such was the reign of terror that no audible voice of opposition or dissent ever arose in the Balkan state and Albania became isolated from the rest of the world and utterly inward-looking. Three decades after his death, the spectre of Hoxha still lingers over the country, yet many people – inside and outside Albania – know little about the man who ruled the country with an iron fist for so many decades. This book provides the first biography of Hoxha available in English. Using unseen documents and first-hand interviews, journalist Blendi Fevziu pieces together the life of a tyrannical ruler in a biography which will be essential reading for anyone interested in Balkan history and communist studies
Selected Articles and Letters, 1903-1944
Author: M. Edith Durham,Harry Hodgkinson,Bejtullah Destani
M. Edith Durham is best known for her classic travel books about the Balkans. However she was also a passionate, articulate and well-informed commentator on Balkan politics and the machinations of the Great Powers. This book brings together articles and letters written by Durham which have been out of the public domain since their original publication in journals, magazines and newspapers. Written in Edith Durham's inimitable style, the book delves beneath the surface of events and offers a compelling portrait of the continuing struggle for Albanian independence. Although the materials in the book were written over sixty years ago, they presage current events in the Balkans with an uncanny resonance. The book will afford readers a remarkable insight into the historical origins of contemporary events in the Balkans. I.B.Tauris in association with the Centre for Albanian Studies
A History of Kosovo
Author: Miranda Vickers
The dissolution of communism and the rise of ethnic and religious conflict throughout the former Yugoslavia, which sparked the war among Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats, has captivated the attention of the Western media throughout the 1990s. But little notice has been paid to the growing ethnic and religious tensions within the Serbian province of Kosovo -- tensions that now pose a serious threat to the security of the Balkans. Nearly 90 percent of the population of Kosovo is composed of Albanian Muslims, many of whom support a growing movement -- at first peaceful, but now turning violent -- for independence from Christian Serbia. In Between Serb and Albanian, Miranda Vickers explores the roots of this conflict and tracks the recent trajectory of Serbian and Albanian relations in Kosovo. The first third of the book outlines the history of Kosovo during the medieval and Ottoman periods, when relations between the two communities were generally good. The second part examines Kosovo since 1945, when the area fell under Serbian administration in the socialist Yugoslav system. Vickers concludes by surveying the steady deterioration in Serb-Albanian relations since the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1981. With careful detail, she reveals how a largely peaceful. politically driven campaign for the independence of Kosovo has recently turned to violence with terrorist attacks on Serb political and military institutions, on Albanians thought to be collaborating with the Serbs, and on Serbs themselves. In the process, the author provides a balanced account of the Serb and Albanian positions, while placing much of the blame for the current situation on the repressive policies of Serb dictatorSlobodan Milosevic. Vickers sees ominous portents that the conflict may soon spread to neighboring Balkan countries. This book is essential reading for all those wishing to understand the historical, social, and cultural aspects of ethnic and religious strife in Serbia, and the implications of this conflict for the current political situation in all of southeast Europe.
From Anarchy to Balkan Identity
Author: Miranda Vickers,James Pettifer
Publisher: NYU Press
Situated between Greece on the south, the former Yugoslavia on the north and east, and the Adriatic Sea on the west, Albania is the country the world forgot. Throughout this century, Albania has been perceived as primitive and isolationist by its neighbors to the west. When the country ended fifty years of communist rule in 1992, few outsiders took interest. Deemed unworthy of membership in the European Union and overlooked by multinational corporations, Albania stands today as one of the poorest and most ignored countries in Europe. Miranda Vickers and James Pettifer take us behind the veil of former President Enver Hoxha's isolationist policies to examine the historic events leading up to Albania's transition to a parliamentary government. Beginning with Hoxha's death in 1985, Albania traces the last decade of Albania's shaky existence, from the anarchy and chaos of the early nineties to the victory of the Democratic Alliance in 1992 and the programs of the current government. The authors provide us with an analysis of how the moral, religious, economic, political and cultural identity of the Albanian people is being redefined, and leave no question that the future of Albania is inextricably linked to the future of the Balkans as a whole. In short, they tell us why Albania matters.
Albanian and Georgian Discourses on Europe, 1878-2008
Author: Adrian Brisku
Publisher: Berghahn Books
From the late nineteenth century to the post-communist period, Albanian and Georgian political and intellectual elites have attributed hopes to "Europe," yet have also exhibited ambivalent attitudes that do not appear likely to vanish any time soon. Albanians and Georgians have evoked, experienced, and continue to speak of "Europe" according to a tense triadic entity-geopolitics, progress, culture-which has generated aspirations as well as delusions towards it and themselves. This unique dichotomy weaves a nuanced, historical account of a changing Europe, continuously marred by uncertainties that greatly affect these countries' domestic politics as well as foreign policy decisions. A systematic and rich account of how Albanians and Georgians view Europe, this book offers a fresh perspective on the vast East/West literature and, more broadly, on European intellectual, cultural, and political history.
A Brief History and Chronology of Events
Author: Robert Elsie
Albania is a small country in southeastern Europe. It is situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the southwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula and borders on Montenegro to the north, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south. But a few decades ago, Albania was something of a curiosity on Planet Earth. Perhaps only North Korea was as isolated from the rest of the world as Albania was. For left-wing idealists, it was a distant Shangri-la where all social inequalities had been done away with; for those few individuals with concrete knowledge of the realities of the Stalinist regime that held power until 1990, and for the vast majority of people living in Albania, it was hell on earth. Despite its sombre past, Albania is, in essence, a European nation like any other and will soon, it is to be hoped, advance and take its proper place in Europe and the world. This book provides a short overview of the history of Albania for the general reader.
Albanian Sworn Virgins
Author: Antonia Young
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Category: Social Science
Most people conceive of gender as a culturally informed response to a biological imperative. But such rigid notions are overturned by certain women in remote regions of Albania who elect to 'become' men simply for the advantages that accrue to them as a result. They crop their hair, wear men's clothes, roll their own cigarettes, drink brandy and carry guns. In short, their lives are much freer and less regimented than other members of their sex - but at a cost. These women must foreswear sexual relationships, marriage and children. They have been dubbed 'Sworn Virgins'. What is interesting is that in this region of the Balkans, simply to dress as a man and to behave as a man will earn these women the same respect accorded a man. This is no mean advantage in an area known for sexual inequality and where so many men have suffered violent, premature deaths, thereby heightening the need for more household heads. Traditionally as heads of household, men are revered and the women who attend them utterly subservient. But unlike 'normal' women, Sworn Virgins can inherit and manage property, and, in fact, may even be raised to assume the male role by parents who have no male heirs. Based on extensive interviews, this book tells the frank and engrossing stories of these women, but also sets their lives within the wider context of a country undergoing radical upheaval and social transformation.
Author: Paulin Kola
Publisher: NYU Press
Category: Political Science
When Kosovar Albanians came to Albania after the fall of Communism, they were surprised to find an impoverished motherland whose people were consumed with questions of basic survival. Albania's citizens, for their part, were dumbstruck by the relatively opulent lifestyles of the Kosovars. Yet despite their profound differences, the myth of a "Greater Albania" persists. In this timely book, Paulin Kola challenges this myth, arguing that there is not widespread support for a "Greater Albania" among the Albanian-speaking peoples. He shows that Albanians do not wish to join a single, politically recognized entity and demonstrates how the Albanians are marked by ideological, religious, and other divisions. While a "Greater Kosovo" remains a remote possibility, there is little chance of the Albanians of either Albania or the diaspora supporting moves to dissolve the present international borders in pursuit of an "Albanian homeland." Albanians appear content to retain their discrete political entities, while traveling and trading freely. Accessible and urgent, this book effectively puts to rest the cherished myths of Albanian nationalism.
Author: M. Edith Durham
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In High Albania, Victorian anthropologist and travel writer M (Mary) Edith Durham presents a vivid and fascinating insight into the culture, customs, people, and the lands of Northern Albania as it was in the early 20th century.
Albania and the Socialist World
Author: Elidor Mëhilli
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Elidor Mëhilli has produced a groundbreaking history of communist Albania that illuminates one of Europe’s longest but least understood dictatorships. From Stalin to Mao, which is informed throughout by Mëhilli’s unprecedented access to previously restricted archives, captures the powerful globalism of post-1945 socialism, as well as the unintended consequences of cross-border exchanges from the Mediterranean to East Asia. After a decade of vigorous borrowing from the Soviet Union—advisers, factories, school textbooks, urban plans—Albania’s party clique switched allegiance to China during the 1960s Sino-Soviet conflict, seeing in Mao’s patronage an opportunity to keep Stalinism alive. Mëhilli shows how socialism created a shared transnational material and mental culture—still evident today around Eurasia—but it failed to generate political unity. Combining an analysis of ideology with a sharp sense of geopolitics, he brings into view Fascist Italy’s involvement in Albania, then explores the country’s Eastern bloc entanglements, the profound fascination with the Soviets, and the contradictions of the dramatic anti-Soviet turn. Richly illustrated with never-before-published photographs, From Stalin to Mao draws on a wealth of Albanian, Russian, German, British, Italian, Czech, and American archival sources, in addition to fiction, interviews, and memoirs. Mëhilli’s fresh perspective on the Soviet-Chinese battle for the soul of revolution in the global Cold War also illuminates the paradoxes of state planning in the twentieth century.