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Shatterzone of Empires

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Shatterzone of Empires
Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands
Edited by Omer Bartov and Eric D. Weitz
Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis: 2013
ISBN: 978-0-253-00635-6

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - April 15, 2013

The interactions of the Prussian (and later German Empire), Habsburg, Russian and Ottoman empires often resulted in military conflicts with ethnic and political strife, as well as in economic and cultural sharing of supplies and ideas. In Shatterzone of Empires, the editors of this book, Omer Bartov and Eric D. Weitz, gathered together a vibrant assortment of essays that examine the borderlands between these disparate empires. This examination not only looks at the various conflicts that ensued between these super powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but also how the borderland regions were areas where national and cultural identities were in a constant state of flux - and what this meant for each empire, and the region as a whole.

Shatterzone of Empires aims to provided an analysis of the region as whole, while also looking at specific regional, ethnic, and religious conflicts in greater details, along with nonviolent interactions between the various peoples that lived along these border regions. There are twenty-six essays in this collection, along with an introductory essay that explains the purpose and goals of this text. A large number of essays in this collection examine how Jews along these border regions were perceived, and how various conflicts impacted their lives and movements. In total six of these essays focus almost exclusively on issues related to Jews living in the border regions, and many others touch upon Jewish issues within scope of broader issues.

One of the most important aspects of this studying this book is that it will expand upon your understanding of the various forces that eventually led to the collapse of the empires under discussion. In addition, all 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. Five maps have also been included. In total, Shatterzone of Empires, provides readers, of every ilk, with a deep understanding of the region and the underlying conflicts that helped mold the various empires throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Shatterzone of Empires is essential reading for students of European history and Imperial Studies, of Jewish and minority history, as well as those interested in war studies. Each essay is self-contained, giving you the option of reading the essays in order, or you can skip around reading any topic that strike your interest.

The essays are organized into five sections: The following sampling of the essay titles will give you an idea of the board scope of this volume:
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