The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, by Tim Judah (Yale University Press, £8.99 in UK)

 

It will not be a great surprise to students of the Irish experience to learn that the Serbs, currently engaged in a convulsive struggle to emerge from the cul de sac into which they allowed Milosevic to lead them, are a people with a long and, above all, proud history. Tim Judah covered the Balkans conflicts of the last 10 years for the Times and the Economist. This detailed account of the history of a people from late medieval times through the Ottoman period and on to German occupation, Tito and beyond shows him to be not just a good journalist but a fine writer, a conscientious historian and a clear-sighted yet sympathetic psychoanalyst to Europe's sickest man.