Balkan Nationalism(s) and the Ottoman Empire. Vol. 1, National Movements and Representations. Vol. 2, Political Violence and the Balkan Wars. Vol. 3, The Young Turk Revolution and Ethnic Groups ed. by Dimitris Stamatopoulos (review)
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Reviewed by
Dimitris Stamatopoulos, editor, Balkan Nationalism(s) and the Ottoman Empire. Vol. 1, National Movements and Representations. Vol. 2, Political Violence and the Balkan Wars. Vol. 3, The Young Turk Revolution and Ethnic Groups. Istanbul: Isis Press. 2015. Vol. 1, pp. 266. Vol. 2, pp. 212. Vol. 3, pp. 232. Paper. $85.

The University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki is emerging as an important powerhouse in Balkan Studies. Thanks to the energetic efforts of Dimitris Stamatopoulos, who organized three successful conferences in 2008, 2012, and 2016, we now have three volumes of deliberations, grouping some 37 contribution in three clusters (and three volumes): the growth of national movements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, nationalism around the Young Turk Revolution, and aspects of the Balkan wars, specifically around the trope of violence.

The three volumes are prefaced by a brief but perceptive, theoretically savvy introduction by Stamatopoulos, offering a characterization of the historiography produced in the Balkans, from Orientalism to ethnocentrism to deconstruction to comparative history. The ambition is to link Ottoman and Balkan studies together and mutually enrich them, since these two fields have existed separately without a shared conversation. In many ways, this is a purely Greek endeavor, since in the other Balkan countries the exchange between the two fields has, to a great extent, already been achieved. Unusual for an introduction, the editor takes to task (although very respectfully) the keynote address (which is also the first contribution of the volumes), Miroslav Hroch's reflections on the Southeastern European type of nation-formation. Hroch has been deservedly celebrated for his useful model of nationalism among the small European nations, but his further forays outside his area of expertise are reproducing a number of deeply ingrained clichés.

There are a number of impressive articles in the first volume. However, there are also some that suffer from bad organization, as well as careless articulation and editing, and a few that could have been dropped safely. Evgenia [End Page 268] Davidova presents an informative analysis of the employment of bourgeoisie as a category in Balkan historiography over the last century, showing its complex, variegated, and at times contradictory use. She concludes for its continuous utility, but in the direction of a broader cultural understanding rather than as a static social formation. Raymond Detrez's fine deliberation on the meaning of Bulgarian in late eighteenth/early nineteenth-century Okhrid demonstrates the continuing preponderance of a common Romaic Orthodox identity, before nationalism supplanted it with a dominant linguistic one. Stamatopulos offers a microhistory of intercommunal relations in Thessaloniki in the 1870s in what emerges as the macrostudy (in terms of size) of this volume. By reconstructing in detail, and with a detective flair, the ousting of metropolitan Neophytos from his see, Stamatopulos manages to complicate the story of nationalization of the Greek and Bulgarian Orthodox communities at the moment of the legal disintegration of the Rum millet. He also shows the struggle for communal representation between different social strata, notably between what he defines as the grand bourgeoisie and the middling classes.

By the end of the nineteenth century, national allegiances clashed in an armed struggle, spurred by the irredentas of the new Balkan states. Developing Spyros Marketos's analysis of Ion Dragoumis as the central figure of Greek protofascism, John Mazis reevaluates and recontextualizes Dragoumis's ideas within the contemporary European intellectual landscape, notably Nietzschean thought. Looking at the architectural landscape and the toponymy in the newly acquired territories of the young Greek nation-state, Nicole Immig and Eleni Kyramargiou deal with aspects of de-Ottomanization and Hellenization. A couple of articles question the stereotypes of the eternal enmity between Muslims and Christians, even on the eve of the population exchanges, and highlight examples of peaceful coexistence. Finally, several contributions deal with literary works and their role in shaping national identities. Among them, Francesco La Rocca's insightful analysis of Gjergj Fishta's epic poem stands out.

In chronological sequence, volume 3 deals with the repercussions and responses to the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. Ileana Moroni's article serves as the introductory piece to this volume. With an alert eye to nuance, she describes both the...