Article first published as Book Review: ‘Albanian’ by Irena Nikaj on Blogcritics.
“Albanian” by Irena Nikaj is the result of the author’s doctoral dissertation research and analysis of the Social and Philosophical thinking of the 30’s Neo-Albanianism. As a Political Cs major in college I was immediately drawn to this title. I obtained my BA in Political Cs in South America and we did go over many trends of thought in Europe, but never got any information on countries such as Albania. The book begins with a presentation of historical facts which show the origin and evolution of the Albanian social-political thought and culture. As the presentation moves forward the author compares and analyzes the historical data referring philosophical works such as Descartes, and quoting well known scholars and authors such as A. Augustin and his definition of time.
Nikaj does a wonderful job presenting her argument. Her research is flawless, and her argument convincing. I liked her analysis when she referred to the influence that the social culture of the country had on the political thought evolution. I was also amazed by the fact that at some point in Albania’s history, Fascism was considered as a political structure that would resolve the medieval agricultural system and create economic development, but was determined it wouldn’t work, among other reasons because of Albania’s social culture and thought. Coming from parents who grew up under Mussolini, this information was surprising to me, as I would have never imagined that Fascism could have happened in Albania.
Nikaj presents the reader with a well written, interesting book about her country’s social, and philosophical development, I just wished that the writing style would have distanced itself from the dissertation type of tone, and would have taken more of a personal voice of the author. As the reader of a book and not a research paper, I wanted to be able to relate with the author and thus recognize her voice and opinion.
“Albanian” by Irena Nikaj is a well of information about the social and philosophical development of the 30’s Neo-Albanism. It’s impeccable research and arguments make this book an asset to any University’s library. I definitely also recommend this book as a read for those who, like me, enjoy learning something interesting about different nations and cultures.