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Modern Albania : from dictatorship to democracy in Europe

Author: Fred Abrahams
Publisher: New York : New York University Press, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In the early 1990s, Albania, Europe's most closed and repressive state, began a startling transition out of forty years of self-imposed Communist isolation. Previously, under strict dictatorial rule, Albanians were not allowed to practice religion, travel abroad, wear jeans, or read "decadent" Western literature. Newly embracing the free market and the possibilities of elected government, Albanians began to devour  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Fred Abrahams
ISBN: 9780814705117 0814705111
OCLC Number: 892463602
Description: xii, 345 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Out of the dark: the leader's demise, 1985-1990 --
Blinded by light: the democratic movement, 1990-1992 --
Red to blue: democratic party rules, 1992-1996 --
Blinded by gold: crash of the pyramids, 1997 --
Return to red: ex-communists rule, 1998 --
Red and black: the Kosovo War, 1998-1999 --
Black and blue: battered politics of transition, 2000-2014.
Responsibility: Fred C. Abrahams.

Abstract:

In the early 1990s, Albania, Europe's most closed and repressive state, began a startling transition out of forty years of self-imposed Communist isolation. Previously, under strict dictatorial rule, Albanians were not allowed to practice religion, travel abroad, wear jeans, or read "decadent" Western literature. Newly embracing the free market and the possibilities of elected government, Albanians began to devour the outside world. They opened cafés, shops, and newspapers. Previously banned rock music blared in the streets. But the trouble was far from over for modern Albania; in the years that followed, the nation would be wracked with stolen elections, corruption scandals, violent protests, and the specter of an uncertain future. Modern Albania offers a vivid history of the Albanian Communist regime's fall and the trials and tribulations that led the country to become the state it is today. The book provides an in-depth look at the Communists' last Politburo meetings and the first student revolts, the fall of the Stalinist regime, the outflows of refugees, the crash of the massive pyramid schemes, the war in neighboring Kosovo, and Albania's evolving relationship with the United States. Fred Abrahams weaves together personal experience from more than twenty years of work in Albania, interviews with key Albanians and foreigners who played a role in the country's politics--including former Politburo members, opposition leaders, intelligence agents, diplomats, and founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army--and a close examination of hundreds of previously secret government records from Albania and the United States. Documenting the nation's path from isolated dictatorship to a fledgling, pluralist democracy, Abrahams deftly explores how far Albania has come and how far it still has to go. A rich, narratively-driven account, Modern Albania gives readers a front-row seat to the last battle of Cold War Europe.--Amazon.com.

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"Abrahams has been afforded the opportunity to 'peer behind the curtain of a society that is for many outsiders opaque'. Yet it is his character portraits, which are reminiscent of both Ryszard Read more...

 
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