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Blood and Vengeance: One Family's Story of the War in Bosnia Hardcover – 19 Aug 1998

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 428 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; First Edition edition (19 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393046516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393046519
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 877,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sudetic studied English, journalism, and Slavic languages at Ohio State University and Indiana University and was a Fulbright scholar in Yugoslavia during 1984 and 1985. He works as a political analyst for the International Crisis Group. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
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.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
After reading tremendous books like David Rohde's "End Game," Holbrooke's "To End a War," Kaplan's "Balkan Ghosts," Rebecca West's "Black Lamb, Grey Falcon," Michael Sells' "A Bridge Betrayed," and a host of others, this one stands out as the very best yet written on Bosnia. Sudetic successfully weaves the macro policy issues with an in-the-trenches view of one family's experience in Srebrenica. The end product is a devastating indictment of the international community for allowing atrocities like this to occur again, after similar incidents occuring in WWII Germany, Post Vietnam Cambodia, Guatemala and Rwanda. After seeing the aftermath of Srebrenica's downfall in person and knowing many of the people involved, I can say that Sudetic has unquestionably written the definitive account of this tragic chapter in Bosnia's history.
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Format: Hardcover
Sudetic traces the story of an ordinary Bosniak family, from a mountain village just north of Višegrad, some of whose members fled to Srebrenica in the late summer of 1992. His account of the fate that befell them also includes quite a detailed analysis of the failures and stupidities of UN policy towards the Srebrenica 'safe area'. This is a very impressive book: unsentimental, unbiased, uncompromising in its assignment of blame (above all to Miloševic , Karadzic , Arkan, Mladic, Rose, Janvier and Akashi) and, in places, very moving. (This short review is from "Books on Bosnia" published by The Bosnian Institute)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chuck Sudetic has written the most important book on the war in Bosnia for those who would take the trouble to understand it.

What is extraordinary is that he manages to convey both the dark complexity of the Bosnian people and their history (the self-exculpating label used by the EU and UN as they sat by and tolerated mass murder) and the simple truth of Serb agression and expansionism in the late 20th century (something only Bill Clinton's White House and NATO would admit).

He clarifies the simplifications: there are multi-culturalist Serbs, Ustasha Muslims and Communist Croats, and not just one or two: inconvenient facts swept under the carpet of real-politik winner's history books.

He simplifies the confusions: the Greater Serbian dream, that drove Milosevic and the majority it took to vote him to power, was to create a mono-ethnic state (and for what?).

Like the people of Sarajevo at the recently held 20th commemoration of the seige I attended, I could not even cry: I felt I was there myself at the fall of the 'Safe Area' of Srebrenica and had to survive to the end.

I am sorry to say that, in my opinion, there will be war there again, and within 20 years if those who fired the snipers and mortar rounds are not brought to justice, and soon. Everyone knows who they are, and they are living comfortably in a Belgrade suburb with the lights on at night.

I worked in an orphanage during the war and this book is the most accurate sense of the horror and the helplessness we felt, whether we were onlookers, outsiders, insiders, victims or conscripted soldiers. The desperation...the heart of darkness all around.
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