Book Reviews

“Fred Abrahams ist ein guter Schriftsteller, dem interessante Porträts gelingen und der die chaotische Entwicklung dieses europäisches Landes so fesselnd zeichnet, dass die Lektüre nie langweilig wird. Er lässt sich von seiner tiefen Sympathie zu Albanien nicht zu vereinfachten Urteilen hinreissen.”
— Dr. Michael Schmidt-Neke, Albanische Hefte
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“Abrahams’ account of what emerged on the Albanian political scene after the collapse of the regime Hoxha built is more methodically and meticulously researched.  The book has the merit of tackling with insight and objectivity some of the most debated events in Albania’s recent history.”
— Besar Likmeta, Transitions Online
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“In this intimate portrait of the country, [Abrahams] explains how the old regime—the last of the Eastern European communist regimes to fall—slowly crumbled and a democratic party, largely student-based, formed, faltered, and gave way to a transfigured communist party.”
— Prof. Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
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In Modern Albania, Fred Abrahams has managed to put Albania’s past, current, and future leaders under one roof and monitored their deeds for 25 years. In first-person narrative, Abrahams turns the tables from Big Brother watching you to us watching the Big Brothers.”
— Fron Nahzi, Huffington Post
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“Abrahams has been afforded the opportunity to ‘peer behind the curtain of a society that is for many outsiders opaque’. Yet it is his character portraits, which are reminiscent of both Ryszard Kapuscinski and John le Carré, which bring this richly woven work of narrative non-fiction to life.”
— Will Nicoll, The Spectator
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“Now, thanks to an assiduously researched, compulsively readable new book by Fred Abrahams, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who has been reporting on Albania and many other countries for more than 20 years, we have about as full an account as we can hope for. Abrahams speaks the language, has read the documents, witnessed many of the key episodes for himself, and interviewed almost every player of significance.”
— Andrew Gumbel, LA Review of Books
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“The canon on modern Albanian political history in English is small but Fred Abraham’s book is now a large contribution to it. Excellent and above all readable and pacy, anyone interested in contemporary Albanian and Balkan history should be grateful that he has committed his deep knowledge about the country, and above all its travails in the 1990s, to paper.”
—Tim Judah, author of Kosovo: War and Revenge


“A century ago, Edith Durham led readers on a trek through Europe’s most isolated country. Now, in Modern Albania, Fred Abrahams bears witness to the painful struggle of the same country’s people to overcome decades of Stalinist terror and to assume, for the first time, their rightful place in the European community.”
—Chuck Sudetic, author of Blood and Vengeance: One Family’s Story of the War in Bosnia

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