Enver Hoxha: The Iron Fist of Albania by Blendi Fevziu (Translated by Majlinda Nishku) - review by Judith Vidal-Hall

Judith Vidal-Hall

Last of the Stalinists

Enver Hoxha: The Iron Fist of Albania


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Travel writers are tipping Albania as the next tourist hotspot, but what do we know of this ancient country? There is ‘luxury and inconvenience on the one hand, liberty, hard living, and filth on the other … Shut out … by iron walls of mountain, surrounded by the sternest features of savage scenery, rock and chasm, precipice and torrent, a more fearful prospect, and more chilling to the very blood, I never beheld.’

So Edward Lear described what at the time was an unknown and mysterious country in his Journals of a Landscape Painter in Albania (1851). Edward Gibbon, half a century earlier, called it ‘a country within sight of Italy, which is less known than the interior of America’. These

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