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In her travels, West became an admirer of the Serbs and their culture, often contrasting it favorably with the West. She repeatedly refers to the devastation that followed the famous battle of Kossovo in 1389, in which the Serbs were defeated by the Turks, and which led to five hundred years of Turkish rule. (In modern spelling, one "s" for Kosovo is preferred, rather than West's "Kossovo".) In the epilogue (written in 1941, two years after the outbreak of World War II) she praised Yugoslavia for refusing to capitulate to Nazi Germany.

In addition to being a travelogue and a history, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is a forum for West's forcefully argued views on a variety of topics, ranging from relations between men and women, to art and music, to the nature of empires and questions of metaphysics.