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It is a general hope that these young people will drive Serbia out of Marxist dogmas not only in their intellectual work but also in everyday politics.The book we have before us is one of those important steps in the direction of modern, non-ideological view of our past and present.The author of this volume belongs to the new generation of Serbian historians.

Escaping numerous traps of Marxist historiography and reasoning, the author leads us on the road of new and modern way of thinking about nationalism and statehood.

By combining historical analysis and archival research with original synthesis, the author left us with a lot of vastly unknown factography and even more conclusions and assertations which inspire further work and thoughts.

In the 20th-century history of the two southern regions of Serbia -- Kosovo and Metohia -- there are two periods that are clearly separated by ideological borders.

In the first period (1912-1941), in the Kingdom of Serbia and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, ethnic issues were mainly dealt with in keeping with the civic standards of inter-war Europe, notwithstanding the suffering endured during the war and latent political instability.

The author's archival findings clearly proved what was really happening in Kosovo and Metohia during the 19th century and what were the true origins of ethnic clashes in that particular area. Batakovic's volume represents, in fact, a comprehensive history of Kosovo and Metohia during the 19th century, starting from the First Serbian Insurrection against the Turks (1804) to the First Balkan War (1912) when, after the victory of the Serbian army, the region of Kosovo and Metohia had been incorporated in the bulk of the Serbian state.

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It is essentially a historical analysis of complex ethnic, religious and political relations in the triangle Serbs-Turks-Albanians based on a rather deep archival and documentary research.

In an attempt to discover the real nature of those conflicts the author searched for the answer to the following questions: what really lays in the bottom of centuries long clashes in the history of Kosovo and Metohia, is that the conflict of religions, nations or civilizations? It stands as the pivotal piece among all other articles in this book.

One will find the author's answers both original and inspiring. It is at the same time the most important and the most complex attempt to analyze the situation in Kosovo in Metohia in the last fifty years, since the communists took over in Yugoslavia.

His final conclusion that the Titoist politics had been detrimental to the positive solution of this serious problem seems persuasive and largely acceptable.

One should appreciate the courage of the author to tackle such a complicated question of history and politics which touches the very essence of the present day Serbia and Yugoslavia. Batakovic's writing should contribute in clarifying many problems which had been heavily misinterpreted in recent years, both in Yugoslavia and abroad.

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