Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide

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NYU Press, 1999 M03 1 - 256 pages

As violence and turmoil continue to define the former Yugoslavia, basic questions remain unanswered: What are the forces behind the Serbian expansionist drive that has brought death and destruction to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo? How did the Serbs rationalize, and rally support for, this genocidal activity?
Heavenly Serbia traces Serbia's nationalist and expansionist impulses to the legendary battle of Kosovo in 1389. Anzulovic shows how the myth of "Heavenly Serbia" developed to help the Serbs endure foreign domination, explaining their military defeat and the loss of their medieval state by emphasizing their own moral superiority over military victory. Heavenly Serbia shows how this myth resulted in an aggressive nationalist ideology which has triumphed in the late twentieth century and marginalized those Serbs who strive for the establishment of a civil society.
"Modern Serbian nationalism...and its contradictory connections...have been sources of considerable scholarly interest...Branimir Anzulovic's compendium is a good example of the genre, made all the more useful by Anzulovic's excellent command of the literature."
—Ivo Banac, History of Religions
Author interview with CNN: http://www.cnn.com/chat/transcripts/branimir_chat.html

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Heavenly Serbia: from myth to genocide

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An independent scholar living in Washington, DC, Anzulovic interprets Serbia's violent history as a consequence of historical legacies: Saint Sava's mystical identification of the church and nation ... Read full review

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Taking the tragic history of the Balkans into consideration, I guess a certain level of prejudice and resentment toward the neighboring ethnic group – the Serbs, should be somewhat expected from a Croatian author. However, Anzulovic goes way beyond the expected. By using the well-known clichés of the modern war propaganda, the author dares to accuse the entire nation and its Eastern Orthodox Church of collective insanity and inferiority. Anzulovic’s far-fetched conspiracy theories would definitely put any anti-Semitic pamphlets from the Nazi era to shame. To make the long story short, whether you are interested in some in-depth studying of the main sources of toxic chauvinism in the Balkans or if you are simply interested in reading hateful rants written by a Croatian quasi historian to support your pathological hatred of the Serbs, Heavenly Serbia is a perfect book for you.  


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About the author (1999)

Branimir Anzulovic was born in Zagreb Croatia. He has a degree in philosophy from the University of Zagreb, and a doctorate in comparative literature from Indiana University. He has taught at Prescott College and Indiana University, and worked in the Yugoslav service of the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. He is now an independent researcher residing in Vienna, Virginia. Among his publications are theater and film reviews, and essays in cultural history and literary criticism.

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