Until the end of the Cold War, the politics of national identity was confined to isolated incidents of ethnic strife and civil war in distant countries. With the collapse of Communist regimes across Europe and the loosening of the Cold War's clamp on East-West relations, a surge of nationalism swept the globe. In Blood and Belonging, Ignatieff makes an examination of why blood ties—in places as diverse as Yugoslavia, Kurdistan, Northern Ireland, Quebec, Germany, and the former Soviet republics—may be the definitive factor in international relations today. He asks how ethnic pride turned into ethnic cleansing, whether modern citizens can lay the ghosts of a warring past, why—and whether—a people need a state of their own, and why armed struggle might be justified.
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Blood and Belonging
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SIX JOURNEYSCHAPTER 1Croatia and SerbiaTHE ANCIEN REGIMEWILD strawberries were served in a silver cup at breakfast, I remember, followed by hot rolls with apricot jam. The dining room looked over the lake, and when the window was open you could feel the mountain air sweeping across the water, across the white linen tablecloth and then across your face.The hotel was called the Toplice, on the shores of Lake Bled, in Slovenia. The diplomatic corps spent the summer there, in attendance upon the dictator who took up residence across the lake. My father, like the other diplomats,