New Book on Croatian GreatsFirst comprehensive book on Croatian Greats, published by Večernji list
Set to appear on newsstands in the coming days is the long awaited book entitled "Hrvatski velikani” (Croatian Greats) by author Božo Skoko, PhD, and published by Večernji list. In this extensive work, the author analyzes the perception of the Greats throughout history and the present, and based on numerous studies presents 25 of the most popular, 100 of the most famous and deserving and 300 of the most important Croatian Greats.
Especially valuable in this book are its short biographies containing numerous interesting facts. The book deals with Greats that each Croat, that is, Croatian citizen should be familiar with. This is the reason why it is undoubtedly a book that every family should have on its bookshelves. And even those who will not agree with the specific names that were included or not included must acknowledge the exceptional analytical, systematic and argumentative approach used, which places this book among the rare editions of national significance.
One of the leading Croatian historians, Prof. Neven Budak, PhD, emphasizes that a particular contribution of the book is the consideration for the manner in which Croats from the 19th century selected the individuals upon which the national identity was later built. “The selection methods, as well as the results of the selection itself, tell us very clearly what policy was used at a specific time to form the desired identity. Collected in one location in this book, all of these selections are a kind of time machine and a reflection of the opinion through which Croatian society was going through over the past century and a half” – concludes Budak, who himself contributed to the popularization of Croatian rulers of the Middle Ages, and adds that the reader can obtain insight not only into the value systems that were in place in Croatian society from the time of the Illyrians to the present, but can also receive basic information on a large number of prominent individuals who, in various ways, provided their contribution to Croatian, European and world culture, science and politics. This book represents a pioneering and popularizing work of our time because, for the first time since Znamenitih i zaslužnih Hrvata (Prominent and Deserving Croats) from 1925, it offers a systematic overview of the biographies of deserving and prominent Croats in the homeland area and throughout the world from the point of view and perspective of the national needs of the 21st century – says Vladimir Lončarević, PhD. In his estimation, this is an extensive literary venture that in an appropriate manner fills a large gap in the literary presentation and representation of Croatian Greats, that is, the most famous, the most deserving and the most popular Croats at home and abroad, as well as non-Croats who, with their work and lives, have indebted Croatia. Communications expert Ivan Tanta, PhD, considers the most important contribution of this book to be the rediscovery and presentation of lesser known and even forgotten Croatian Greats, who have indebted us and spread the Croatian name throughout the world. “The many years of neglect and politicking in upholding the memory of some of the Croatian Greats have led to their nearly complete disappearance into oblivion in our public. In this manner, not only have they been forgotten, but we also have forgotten part of our national identity, as well as a part of our history, and what is more important, part of our self-respect. This book’s effort to uphold the memory of an exceptionally large number of significant Croats almost places it amongst encyclopedic works, whose value will not diminish, but rather on the contrary, complement every new discovery of a forgotten Great whose work and merit had been covered by the dust of history” – concludes Professor Tanta.