Pub. Date:
University of Chicago Press
Bridge on the Drina

Bridge on the Drina

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The Bridge on the Drina is a vivid depiction of the suffering history has imposed upon the people of Bosnia from the late 16th century to the beginning of World War I. As we seek to make sense of the current nightmare in this region, this remarkable, timely book serves as a reliable guide to its people and history.

"No better introduction to the study of Balkan and Ottoman history exists, nor do I know of any work of fiction that more persuasively introduces the reader to a civilization other than our own. It is an intellectual and emotional adventure to encounter the Ottoman world through Andric's pages in its grandiose beginning and at its tottering finale. It is, in short, a marvelous work, a masterpiece, and very much sui generis. . . . Andric's sensitive portrait of social change in distant Bosnia has revelatory force."—William H. McNeill, from the introduction

"The dreadful events occurring in Sarajevo over the past several months turn my mind to a remarkable historical novel from the land we used to call Yugoslavia, Ivo Andric's The Bridge on the Drina."—John M. Mohan, Des Moines Sunday Register

Born in Bosnia, Ivo Andric (1892-1975) was a distinguished diplomat and novelist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. His books include The Damned Yard: And Other Stories, and The Days of the Consuls.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226020457
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 08/28/1977
Series: Phoenix Fiction Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 314
Sales rank: 64,409
Product dimensions: (w) x (h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

William H. McNeill (1917-2016) was the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and the College at the University of Chicago. In 2009 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal for his work as a teacher, scholar, and author. His many books include The Pursuit of Power, The Rise of the West, and Mythistory and Other Essays, all published by the University of Chicago Press. His most well-known work, The Rise of the West, became a best seller and won the National Book Award for history and biography in 1964.

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Bridge on the Drina 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Is there much about this book to be said? It is without a doubt the best piece of literature to come out of the former Yugoslavia in the past century. Whoever wants to find out more about present conflicts in the Balkans MUST first read about the history of this region. And for that, Andric is by far the best source. Velimir R.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel describes the life in Bosnia during Turkish rule throughout the ¿life¿ of the bridge on Drina. It's actually describing the whole rule of Ottoman Empire over small Bosnian bridge and cities it connects, from the beginning to the end. The actual perish of Ottoman reign over Bosnia is symbolized in the very last sentence of the novel. This is a great book that uncovers life in Bosnia in very vivid, terrified and truthful way, but only those who understand the history of Bosnia throughout centuries can appreciate it. Also Ivo Andric with his addictive writing adds more beauty to it. I would recommend it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In one historical book we expect to find satisfaction because we are belonging to world. Situation in Bosnia is not beautiful. In this chronological happenings situation is twisted between two sides of the river. There is a bridge. Writer in vivid detail describes sad and stupid nature on the borders of the Earth and that is what is it about. We can see people today with the same feelings like people before and nothing changes. In our bridges we can find place for a heart and Bosnia could be, geographically, place where hearts meet. There are many tremors, stubbornness, sacrifices, and emptiness but this country is where is my heart. In my moods I can't find satisfaction because is so impossible to repair this situation from yesterday and today and nothing can change this. Reading peaces of world's masters helps people to find strong root that can't send them on wrong side of the bridge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great historical novel. If you want to understand conflict between Serbs and Muslims in Bosnia or ex-Yugoslavia than read this book. Even now, after all those wars, situation is almost same, one bridge, two sides, two nations and bigger gap between them and few wars more behind their back. Unfortunately, past is still their future. And do you know what is really sad? Their mother is same, but during the centuries some of them change their religion to protect their families.
DireWeevil on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dry. Not Really a "page turner".
deebee1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the tale of a bridge, and much more. It is the story of a small town on the Bosnian border; its life under the Ottomans and later, the Austrians; the joys, the hardships, the pains of the people of the town of Visegrad whose fates depended on the whims and decrees imposed by the far-off capital city of whoever was the imperial ruler then; the reverberations of revolts and wars that were being fought across the border or further inland; and a bridge who was witness to it all.Spanning a canvas of more than 300 years, Andri¿ brings to life in the most beautiful and vivid way, rural and town life in Visegrad which was first just a little sleepy border place along the river Drina made up of Turks, Jews, and Serbs who, though they harbored deep suspicion of each other, have learned how to live, and even like each other, albeit depended on each other for their mutual survival.First, there was no bridge. Then sometime in the 16th century, the great Mehmet Pasha, whose origins were from that region, instructed the construction of a great bridge. And life started to revolve around that bridge. As well as death, for along the centuries, it became the symbol and the stage where the power, repression and aggression of the ruling power were displayed in the most savage form both as reminder and punishment.Andri¿ writes a fictional but truthful history of the bridge at Visegrad. We meet a host of memorable characters and experience unforgettable events. There are the peasants, the townsmen, the merchants, the priests; then came the workers, the builders of the bridge; then the soldiers and new settlers from far-off lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who administered the town's transformation in the ¿Western¿ way; then there were the intellectuals, the students, and the revolutionaries. Between these waves which took place over many generations, we feel as if the town is always at the edge of something that is not within them to control. Change came, most of the time not subtly and not from any internal source, and here we see how tensions developed, grew, and sometimes, exploded. And those who could not accept change simply faded away for there was no room for these misfits in the new social order. This is just a small part of a much bigger story, but we begin to have a glimpse of some of the historical sources of the volatility of a region located at the crossroads of East and West, and which served as a pawn by much greater powers in their games of political domination. Through all these waves and changes, there stood the bridge - the only constant, permanent thing in their lives. It was solid, it was immense, it was indestructible. But was it really?This book is a truly a masterpiece. I was swept away by the writing from the very first page, and didn't want the tale to end. But it had to end, and it was not a very happy ending, even as we know that until now what is there is a fragile peace, and deep scarring from a bloody recent past.
FemmeBibliophile37 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unbeknownst to my slavic university professor, this novel is so well-written and so historical in its content, that I lied about finishing it in order to savour the completion of reading it. Indeed, Mr. Andric deserved the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
huntersdog More than 1 year ago
Tieing the story of a culture and the history of a people to the story of the bridge on the drina was such a wonderful idea by the author and it is truely a great way to tell a history. I thought maybe that the nobel prize for this book may have been a subjective kind of thing like and oscar or a grammy, but this is truely a masterful book. Much beeter the commercial renderings I am used to reading. I only can imagine how wonderful it must have been to read in the native language. I was a little worried as the first tale is a rather graphic depiction of an impaling, but as graphic as it was, it hooked me and the remainder the book was equally engaging. I feel closer to the balkin people and understand them better as a result.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was recommended to me by my teachers, they said it would really catch my attention. I began to read it without any doubt that it would be good (since most books are). I found as i read on that not only was it boring it wasn't fun. No major descriptions, only about the surroundings. When they got to talking about a person it was quick and un detailed. I have written books myself that have been far more interesting.