|* * * Do NOT buy hardcover version! * * *|
To be used together with another atlas. (e.g. "Historical Atlas of East Central Europe, by P. R. Magocsi or Cartographia's "Történelmi Világatlasz" (in Hungarian))
Just like when I first discovered the "Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe" I thought: "At last a specific work on the topic in English!".
Well, despite the range of the maps - 50, listed at the end of the review - it was quite a disappointment.
The maps... They can at best be described as of "average" quality, but words like "perfunctory" or "sloppy" could be used as well. There is no excuse for the roughness and distortion of state boundaries, the lack of rivers and cities/towns. And the actual errors to them have yet to be mentioned. Still, since these maps cover a smaller area than their counterparts in the
"Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe", they are a bit more precise, but far from detailed.
It must be noted as well that GEOGRAPHICALLY the Northern boundary of the Balkan Peninsula is defined by the Danube - Sava - Kulpa rivers. Thus Slovenia is entirely and Croatia and Romania is partly outside of it. However, while historically Ljubljana and Zagreb is rightly considered Central European, Bucharest is linked to the Balkans. Despite it's acquisition of Transylvania in 1918/20.
It must be noted that the author makes an honest attempt to be objective in the history telling, by sometimes presenting several versions/views on the same event, BUT I am sure that even this won't satisfy everybody.
However, the style of the text is sometimes "odd". "Nationalist", is one of the much preferred word used by the author, especially when dealing with newer history. The difference between "nationalism" and "patriotism" is apparently very subjective.
All in all, the map part of this atlas is suitable for low-level studies of the area only, and the text for high-school studies.
A last remark: This volume shares 14 - or 1/3 - out of it's 50 maps with the "Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe" from the same series. (Nos. (5), 8, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21, 25, 30, 32, 33, 37, 38, 49 and 50, as observed by the author of these lines.)
So basically, the "Historical Atlas of the Balkans" - with it's 36 additional maps of the Balkans - is a complementary to the "Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe".
2: Political, 2001
3: Natural Resources
6: The East Roman Balkans, Late 6th Century
7: Avar, Slav, and Bulgarian Invasions, 7th Century
8: Rise of the First Bulgarian Empire, 7th-10th Centuries
9: Fall of the First Bulgarian Empire, Mid-10th-Early 11th Centuries
10: Rise of Medieval Croatia, 19th-12th Centuries
11: The Balkans, Late 12th Century
12: Crusades in the Balkans, Late 11th-Early 13th Centuries
13: The Balkans after the Fourth Crusade, 1204-1214
14: Byzantium Resurrected, 1261-1328
15: Rise of the Romanian Principalities, Mid-13th-14th Centuries
16: Rise of Medieval Bosnia, 13th-14th Centuries
17: Rise of Medieval Serbia, 13th-Mid-14th Centuries
18: Political Fragmentation, Mid-14th Century
19: Ottoman Expansion in the Balkans, Mid-14th-Early 16th Centuries
20: Fall of Constantinople, 1453 (and Ottoman Istanbul)
21: Apex of Ottoman Expansion, Mid-16th Century
22: Ottoman Millet Organization, Mid-16th-17th Centuries
23: Habsburg Croatian-Slavonian Military Border, 17th-18th Centuries
24: The Ottoman Balkans, Late 17th-18th Centuries
25: Emergence of Modern Balkan States, 1804-1862
26: The Balkan Crisis of 1875-1876
27: The "San-Stefano" Balkans, March 1878
28: The "Berlin" Balkans, July 1878
29: Balkan State Territorial Expansion, 1881-1886
30: The Macedonian Question
31: The Balkans, 1908
32: Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1908-1914
33: The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913
34: World War I in the Balkans
35: The Post-Versailles/Lausanne Balkans
36: Yugoslavia, 1929-1941
37: Post-Trianon Romania, 1920-1938
38: The Transylvanian Question
39: Bulgaria, 1919-1940
40: Greece, 1923-1941
41: Albania, 1921-1939
42: The Balkans, 1939-1940
43: World War II-The 1941 Balkan Campaign
44: The Axis-Dominated Balkans, 1941-1944
45: Balkan Cominform States 1945-1947
46: The Greek Civil War, 1946-1949
47: Splits in Communism, 1948-1960
48: Collapse of Communism, 1989-1991
49: Wars of Yugoslav Succession, 1991-1995
50: The Kosovo Crisis, 1999
Review based on First paperback September 2001 edition.