Serbian Dreambook (Hardcover)
National Imaginary in the Time of Milosevi (New Anthropologies of Europe)
Indiana University Press, 9780253356239, 318pp.
Publication Date: April 29, 2011
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The central role that the regime of Slobodan Milosevic played in the bloody dissolution of Yugoslavia is well known, but Marko Zivkovic explores another side of this time period: the stories people in Serbia were telling themselves (and others) about themselves. Zivkovic traces the recurring themes, scripts, and narratives that permeated public discourse in Milosevic's Serbia, as Serbs described themselves as Gypsies or Jews, violent highlanders or peaceful lowlanders, and invoked their own mythologized defeat at the Battle of Kosovo. The author investigates national narratives, the use of tradition for political purposes, and local idioms, paying special attention to the often bizarre and outlandish tropes people employed to make sense of their social reality. He suggests that the enchantments of political life under Milosevic may be fruitfully seen as a dreambook of Serbian national imaginary.