Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands

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9780253006318: Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands

Shatterzone of Empires is a comprehensive analysis of interethnic relations, coexistence, and violence in Europe's eastern borderlands over the past two centuries. In this vast territory, extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea, four major empires with ethnically and religiously diverse populations encountered each other along often changing and contested borders. Examining this geographically widespread, multicultural region at several levels―local, national, transnational, and empire―and through multiple approaches―social, cultural, political, and economic―this volume offers informed and dispassionate analyses of how the many populations of these borderlands managed to coexist in a previous era and how and why the areas eventually descended into violence. An understanding of this specific region will help readers grasp the preconditions of interethnic coexistence and the causes of ethnic violence and war in many of the world's other borderlands both past and present.

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About the Author:

Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University. His books include Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine and Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity.

Eric D. Weitz is Dean of Humanities and the Arts and Professor of History at City College, City University of New York. His books include A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation and Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy.


"Anyone who studies nationalism, genocide, mass violence, or war in these regions, from the Enlightenment through the mid-twentieth century, needs to read Shatterzone of Empires. The book is also highly recommended to specialists in any field of central and eastern European, Jewish, and Ottoman history during those periods. Advanced undergraduates with a strong foundation in
these fields would also benefit greatly from this collection. The book’s breadth, its theoretical exploration of borderlands, and its overall quality mean that the editors and authors have produced something of lasting scholarly value." ―Central European History

"[A]ll the essays in this collection meet the highest academic standards and levels of scholarship. Each essay includes detailed notes, and each was written by leading scholars in the area being examined..... In total, Shatterzone of Empires, provides readers, of every ilk, with a deep understanding of the region and the underlaying conflicts that help mold the various empires throughout the 19th and 20th centuries." ―The Jewish Eye

"[This] book’s quality ultimately rests with the individual contributions... which represent cutting-edge scholarship and interpretations." ―German Studies Review

"Cutting-edge scholarship on important issues of borderlands and violence that many people―and the educated public as a whole―think about.... A compendium of first-rate research and scholarship... truly impressive." ―Norman M. Naimark, author of Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in 20th-Century Europe

"Shatterzone is an important contribution to an exciting conversation about mass violence and terror in the twentieth century... This volume is a rich contribution to several literatures: the histories of the
empires and nations of eastern and southeastern Europe and the Middle East; the scholarship on nationalism and identity politics; Holocaust and genocide studies; and studies of violence and atrocities." ―Slavic Review

"A valuable resource for scholars of central and eastern Europe and of the historical depth and character of nationalism.... Highly recommended." ―Choice

"It is hard to imagine that anyone in the field of central/eastern Europe will not buy this book. It will also be interesting to anyone working on the First or Second World War, or the history of violence, genocide, Judeocide. It's a big book... that will have a big impact." ―Alison Frank, author of Oil Empire: Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia

"All in all, the volume testifies to the important advances that have been made over the past decade in the inter-related fields of ethnic group identification, evolving intergroup relations, and the origins of ethnic violence. By including examples of peaceful inter-ethnic coexistence before and between the two world wars, the volume offers a more nuanced picture of the European borderlands than is all too often the case." ―HSozuKult

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