To the reader who travels with Thompson, a British correspondent for a Slovenian newspaper, there awaits a remarkably rich mélange of personal encounters and arresting, creative historical allusions. On one level the book is a travelogue, because the author retells his movements around the country from Slovenia in the north to Macedonia in the south over the years after 1987, but principally in 1990 and 1991. His arrival in one place or another, however, is less the point than an excuse to weave a complex, probing historical account around different contemporary locations and personalities. Despite the erudition, the book is more lyrical than analytical, giving the reader less an understanding of how and why the Yugoslav idea again failed awfully, but nonetheless a deeper appreciation of what the idea had going for and against it.
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