The six-month war in Macedonia in 2001 between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Macedonians so imitated a decade of prior conflicts in the former Yugoslavia that surfeited Americans scarcely noticed. The Europeans, however, did, and in one of the first effective interventions by the EU, they managed to halt it before it boiled over the country's borders. Phillips, a journalist, was there, and is well placed to disentangle the complex interplay among the dramatis personae, including key political figures, many conflicting factions, freebooters, and emissaries from the international community. Because Macedonia has long been the invidious object of competing Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian, and Serbian foreign policies, and because it is a fire zone for the barely contained problem of a "greater Albania," the stakes are high. Phillips sympathizes with the long-suffering Albanian minority, but not with the Kosovar Albanian extremists who came from the outside to tear the country apart -- nor with the U.S. diplomats who too facilely embraced Albanian minority rights.
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