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Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood [Hardcover]

Barbara Demick , John Costello
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1996
In the last decade of the 20th century, in a capital city in Europe, the unimaginable is happening.
Take a walk down Sarajevo's Logavina Street with Barbara Demick, author of the prize-winning Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. Demick spent much  of 1993 through 1995 on one street in the Bosnian capital with a front-row seat as a country was torn apart by ethnic warfare and a modern city was held under siege. She watched and recorded as neighbors, Muslim, Serb and Croat, tried to keep their society intact against the forces of intolerance. In Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood, meet a teenager whose parents were killed by a mortar shell in front of her, a dentist debating whether to emigrate to America, a besotted husband separated from his wife by war, obsessing about her lipstick color. Demick's coverage of the Bosnian war won the Robert F. Kennedy award  for international reporting, the Polk award for international reporting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews Mcmeel Pub (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836213262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836213263
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,319,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Barbara Demick is the Beijing bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times and author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, which won the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson award, the U.K.'s top non-fiction prize. A foreign correspondent for more than 15 years, she has covered China, Korea, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Her coverage of Sarajevo for the Philadelphia Inquirer won the Robert F. Kennedy award, the Polk Award and was a finalist for the Pulitizer. Demick's work has also appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Read until the end 21 July 2012
By Creaker
Format:Paperback
This book is fantastic, as you really get an amazing insight into the reality of having your life drastically change through war, and the things that you have to deal with on a practical basis, as well as the trauma of death and injury. To get the full understanding, the author has carefully constructed the book so that the suffering unfolds, please read the prologue before, and don't skip it and go back at the end like I did- as the context helps you to understand the people within it! Demick's committment as a journalist is outstanding, she lives through the war similar to the subjects of the book albeit in slightly better living conditions . I don't think it is as good as Demick's book on North Korea, where the stories are more personal and interesting giving the nature and length of the stories, spanning over a generation as opposed to a couple of years, which is why I removed a star, however if I didn't have this comparison, on its own it's an outstanding book. The book is a 200 page rich account of a 4 year journalist assignment- and there is love, humour, suffering, poverty, adventure and culture.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read 2 Nov 2010
By J. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I found this book after reading the author's other book "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" (also worth your time). I think the whole situation in the countries of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s is tragic. Here the author introduces the reader to the various residents, families, business owners and people of Logavina Street. While reading, I came to love these people and I truly hurt for them as the author detailed their struggles, heartaches and losses, but also I truly was happy for their small triumphs and victories. I think the world still needs to examine and dissect the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, because there are many lessons about human behavior, tragedy, but also goodness. This book is worth your time to read. It was emotional, heartbreaking and one that will stay with you for time to come.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Barbara Demick's "Nothing to Envy" will enjoy this updated re-release of her 1996 Sarajevo-based work 28 May 2012
By Andy Orrock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm very pleased that Barbara Demick's "Logavina Street" got a second life after her brilliant (and brilliantly received) book on North Korea, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. That book has been a justifiably big smash. Publisher Spiegel & Grau (a Random House imprint) was smart to go back and re-release her 1996 Sarajevo work given Demick's new, higher profile.

By all means, fans of Demick's writing should get their hands on this new paperback edition. Her original narrative ends in mid-1995. The new paperback features a new chapter, 'Return to Logavina Street,' which has a 2011 coda to the story. That chapter, plus a new epilogue, bring a new perspective to her work. I especially liked this passage from the 'Return' chapter (about her June 2011 visit):

"Since the 90s I have been back to Sarajevo twice, once in 2007 and more recently in 2011. Each time, I was struck by how much it looked and felt the same. Now that I'm living in Asia, I'm accustomed to dynamic cities constantly reinventing themselves. When I leave Beijing for a holiday, I come back to find the building next door demolished and new skyscraper rising in my backyard. Not Sarajevo. The city is timeless, almost immutable. Along the stone alleys of the Bascarsija, the jewellers are tapping away behind shopfronts with the same names: Kasumagic, Cengic. Even the music is the same 1980s technopop. So little has changed on Logavina Street that I can almost navigate my way with my eyes closed."

Like in 'Nothing to Envy,' Demick's winning technique is to crystallize the story from the large and complex down to the personal. In the North Korea book, we saw that country and its truths through the eyes of six defectors. Here, we see the Sarajevo siege through the eyes of the residents of one famous street. It's a work that - despite the passage of 17 years - has relevance today with the recent capture and ongoing trials of Radovan Karadzic' and Ratko Mladic'.

Moreover, even today, Demick portrays a 'peace' that is shaky at best. She notes that "[e]vents that might lead to another war are easy to imagine: if Republika Srpska tries to secede from Bosnia..." She quotes think tank International Crisis Group's ominous conclusion: "[I]f Srpska's leaders continue driving every conflict with Sarajevo to the brink, as they have done repeatedly to date, they risk disaster. The agility of leaders and the population's patience need only fail once to ignite serious violence."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Demick Masterpiece 10 July 2012
By M. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Barbara Demick's "Logavina Street" is one of the best books on Sarajevo and the Bosnian War. It is cause for celebration that "Logavina Street" has been revived, and that in this new edition Demick brings up to the present her searing portrait of war and survival. Anyone who has read "Nothing to Envy" knows Demick's extraordinary talent for illuminating world important issues by delving into the lives of ordinary people and writing about them so memorably. "Logavina Street" is a Demick masterpiece, recording history and a war that still haunts through a six-block-long street and its inhabitants. And by returning, Demick adds a rich layer of reflection on what the war meant, not just for those who survived, but for all of us.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, insightful, grounded in the daily grind of chronic conflict 23 Oct 2013
By S. Commins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book chronicles the life of people on one street in Sarajevo and the impact of the Bosnian war on their lives. The people are described in their complexity and distinctiveness, without being portrayed as victims. The failure of the Clinton Administration, the EU (especially the UK and France), and the UN, to directly address the sources of the conflict (preferring their humanitarian fig leaves) is starkly set out from the street. The new edition has a postscript that brings the reader up to date with the lives of many of the people from Logavina Street. A touching read during the week when Bosnia's futbol team qualified for the World Cup.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking and utterly readable ... 26 Dec 2012
By Caitlin Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Bosnian war is sort of a blur to me. I was directing theater and managing bands for most of the 1990's. This meant living on 2-3 hours of sleep and very little in the way of news or television. When you live in those worlds many things become a blip on the radar - you flag them in your head - "I should know more about that" - and then move on to whatever needs to be tackled next. Recently this flag popped up in my head again when I was offered a copy of the updated edition for review.

Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood is great journalism. Combining a general overview of the history and roots of the multiple conflicts, Ms. Demick goes on to explore the war through the eyes of the residents of a single street. Many books on war are so focused on the minutae of battles and political tactics that the reality of the person on the street who is neither soldier nor politician is lost. This is moving story and cautionary tale and started me out on what will be a longer journey in trying to understand what happened there. Heartbreaking and utterly readable - highly recommended.
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