Austin, R - Royal Fraud; Albania’s First and Last King

Austin, R - Royal Fraud; Albania’s First and Last King
Beginning its narrative in 1961, when Albanian King Zog I died in a Paris hospital after 22 years in exile, this book tells the colourful story of this Balkan country's first and only monarch. The road to becoming Europe's youngest president in 1925 and then king of Albania in 1928 was paved with feuds and assassinations, a political career-path common in the region. He craved the throne for several reasons; the Balkans were mostly run by kings, and Zog wanted to impress his mother and also give his six sisters an easy social rise. Once king, his accomplishments were decidedly meagre. He spent most of his time keeping up appearances as a monarch despite the obvious fraud he had imposed on an illiterate and uninterested population. His one great success was that he had almost all his opponents assassinated, usually in broad daylight abroad. Zog retained his power until his "friend" Mussolini ousted him in 1939. On the surface a Westernizer, this self-proclaimed ruler left Albania almost as he found it, with almost no roads or trains, thoroughly uneducated and utterly impoverished. In his book, Robert Austin combines Zog’s adventurous life story with a studious analysis of Albania's political history from the fall of the Ottoman Empire to the threshold of Euro-Atlantic integration. Paperback, in English, 158 pages, 5 illustrations, size 15x23cm.

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