Cover: The Great Cauldron: A History of Southeastern Europe, from Harvard University PressCover: The Great Cauldron in HARDCOVER

The Great Cauldron

A History of Southeastern Europe

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Product Details


$39.95 • £28.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674983922

Publication Date: 06/10/2019

Academic Trade

736 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

41 photos, 7 maps


Panoramic and convincingly presented history of the region… Calic is an authoritative guide. Her book is a work of ambitious chronological and thematic scope, taking the story from Alexander the Great to the present day.—Tony Barber, Financial Times

Since the early twentieth century, southeastern Europe has been disparaged as ‘the Balkans,’ a term that often connotes tribalism and violence. In this detailed and comprehensive history, Calic nimbly seeks to broaden the way the region is understood. The book ranges from the advent of Ottoman dominion to the collapse of Yugoslavia.—Larry Wolff, Foreign Affairs

Calic provides a sweeping overview of the history of this region and its people, from the late antiquity to the present day… Informed, comprehensive, and methodical, The Great Cauldron provides valuable insight into southeastern Europe and its turbulent past.—Iva Glisic, Australian Book Review

An outstanding book… An original and thought-provoking history of Southeastern Europe that should be read by both specialists and scholars whose expertise lies elsewhere, but who seek to understand the region. This is a fascinating story of how global ideas—transcontinental, transborder, and translocal contacts, exchanges, and movements of peoples and goods—shaped Europe’s southeast, the region also known, frequently pejoratively, as the Balkans… A monumental work.—Dejan Djokić, Journal of Modern History

Covers in detail the history of a geographical region that currently comprises more than a dozen nations, from its earliest recorded tribes through to modernity… An impressive work.—Andrea Tallarita, PopMatters

The best text by far on the history of the Balkans yet written, and I suspect it will remain the standard for a long time.—Nick Miller, Slavonic and East European Review

An indispensable new history of southeastern Europe… It stands out for its integration of economic and demographic data with political and cultural history.Choice

On rare but memorable occasions, a book comes along that fills a vacuum one did not know existed. In an era when nationalist stereotypes and conflicts dominate, Calic tells a totally absorbing, transformative story of the far more significant role of transborder, and even global exchanges of people, ideas, and things that have defined the Balkan Peninsula—from Romania to Albania to Greece—over two thousand years. So much for the myth of a peripheral backwater! Her eloquent narrative tells us much more than the story of southeastern Europe; it also sheds light on our interpretations of contemporary history and our assumptions even beyond Europe.—Susan L. Woodward, author of Balkan Tragedy

Calic convincingly and thoroughly shows the Balkans to be a quintessential ‘world region,’ one whose historical character has been decidedly cosmopolitan, diverse, and dynamic. She successfully challenges and overturns the usual assumptions that uncritically reproduce stereotypes of Balkan parochialism and isolationism.—Edin Hajdarpasic, author of Whose Bosnia?

There has long been a need for a comprehensive, new history of Europe’s controversial quadrant. Calic’s lucid, authoritative account, from ancient times and ethnic origins to warfare and recovery since 1989, is a stellar example of the new global history. She sees southeastern Europe as a cauldron in which its peoples and polities are stirred together with Europe’s longest and largest set of transnational and transcultural influences. Throughout, she shows how these interrelations belied any separate Balkan definition of this all-too-accessible corner of the continent.—John R. Lampe, author of Yugoslavia as History

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