Chuck Sudetic has written one of the most important books of the 1990s. I can attest from first-hand knowledge of the Balkans that this work is astonishingly unbiased, even as it is wrenching in its descriptions of the effects of an unwanted war on average men and women. By mid-book, the reader may begin to feel that too much detail has been accumulated on the families the author follows through the Bosnian nightmare--but then, in a matter of pages, the horror begins. First, comes a series of random cruelties, then broader atrocities, until the book climaxes in its unforgettable description of the siege and fall of Srebrenica, one of the worst (and most preventable) tragedies of our time. This is when the richness of the family saga begins to resound--Sudetic recreated a now-lost world then let us witness its destruction. It is a work of great commitment and honesty. This book captures the desperation, ignorance, cowardice, heroism, corruption and indestructible hopes of men and women swept up in a war they never fully comprehended. This, not the diplomatic headlines, is the bitter reality of our times for millions of human beings, from the Balkans to Indonesia. Sudetic is not an elegant stylist, but for the purposes of such a grim narrative, his "Joe Friday," deadpan prose serves far better than would a more self-consciously literary approach. While other fine books have been written about the self-destruction of Yugoslavia (Tom Gjelten's "Sarajevo Daily" comes to mind), I find "Blood and Vengeance" an indispensible work. By telling the intertwined stories of Muslim and Serb Orthodox families on one mountainside, Sudetic encapsulates the broad tragedy of a region. I cannot recommend this book too strongly, and feel it would better serve as a text for today's university students than a library full of theoretical works on international relations. Chuck Sudetic has captured the harshness of our world, as well as the ineradicable human will to survive, in a book that deserves far greater recognition than it has received. Please read this book--and give it as a gift to those around you who merit a richer understanding of the post-Cold War world. I only wish I could place a copy directly into the hands of each person reading this review.