The Other Balkan Wars; A 1913 Carnegie Endowment Inquiry in Retrospect, with a New Introduction and Reflections on the Present Conflict by George F. Kennan
International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, and Kennan, George F.
Price: 45.00 USD
Carnegie Endowment Book, 1993. iv, 413 pages plus [5 pages and three folding maps]. Maps. Footnotes. Illustrations. Appendices. Statistics. Front corner creased. Minor corner creases on several pages. The original publication was entitled "Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, which was published by The Endowment in Washington, D.C. in 1914 It was the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of Intercourse and Education, Publication No. 4. Verso does not list an ISBN for a hardcover version. The Balkan Wars consisted of two conflicts that took place in the Balkan Peninsula in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913. Four Balkan states defeated the Ottoman Empire in the first war; one of the four, Bulgaria, suffered defeat in the second war. The Ottoman Empire lost the bulk of its territory in Europe. Austria-Hungary, although not a combatant, became relatively weaker as a much enlarged Serbia pushed for union of the South Slavic peoples. The war set the stage for the Balkan crisis of 1914 and thus served as a "prelude to the First World War". While most people know that an assassination in Sarajevo lit die fuse to the explosion of World War I, few outside academia care to examine the ensuing tangle of wars, disputes and massacres in the Balkans in the years before the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The latest Balkan crisis, by not going away, numbs us as it did past generations. The Carnegie Endowment inquiry, a reprint from 1913 with a new introductory essay by George Kennan, tells us why we should pay attention more than ever. Eighty years ago, members from the leading powers tried to draw some lessons from the Balkans. In 1912 and 1913, newspaper reports of the fighting between the Turks, Serbs, Bulgarians, and Greeks described atrocities that horrified readers in Europe and the United States. The gradual contraction of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century had led to the creation of new states in the Balkans. In 1912, a coalition comprised of Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria fought a successful war against the moribund Turks. Immediately afterward, the victorious Serbs and Bulgarians fought a second war between themselves for possession of Montenegro. The fighting possessed the same qualities as the Balkan war today. Ethnic nationalism, combined with religion, ran rampant. Gangs of armed men murdered or displaced civilians whose beliefs and background failed to coincide with their own. The second war ended in the defeat of the Bulgarians in August 1913. When the commission completed its report, the Serbs had gone on to fight the Albanians, and by the following year, the Serbs struggle with Austria had spread throughout Europe. From the Balkan atrocities came a novel enterprise: a commission of independent scholars, journalists, and administrators set out to examine in detail the causes and effects of the fighting. The undertaking was paid for by the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, created in 1910. The commission, which spent two months collecting evidence in the region, was composed of a Russian parliamentarian, law professors from Germany and Austria, two British journalists, an American professor from Columbia University, and a member of the French Chamber of Deputies. It was led by another French parliamentarian, Baron d'Estournelles de Constant a pacifist who had spent time in the Balkans. The fruit of the commission's inquiry appeared six months before the outbreak of World War I. The Carnegie report provides carefully drawn-up evidence of rapes, beatings, burnings, disembowelment, and casual mass murder of civilians and unarmed soldiers, frequently exaggerated by the aggrieved and almost always indignantly and unconvincingly denied by the accused. Presumed First Edition, First printing thus. Good.
- By This Author: International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, and Kennan, George F.
- By This Publisher: Carnegie Endowment Book