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dan (Newcastle, United Kingdom)

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Srebrenica: Record of a War Cr
Srebrenica: Record of a War Cr
by Jan Willem Honig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The bigger picture - definitely worth reading., 18 Oct. 2013
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I've read a number of books about the Balkan Wars and the events at Srebrenica always feature at some point. I decided to read this book to get a better understanding of what actually happened.

A befits a book that is titled 'a record of a war crime' this is an academic text that very thoroughly documents the events leading up to the mass killings that shocked the world.

Despite being rather dry in places, it is written clearly and gives a very valuable insight into the international politics that led to the creation of the Safe Areas, and in particular why it was the Dutch who ended up in Srebrenica. It also shows how the Peace Keepers were badly equipped and hampered by low morale and a very complex, impractical chain of command. It presents the entire UN led mission in the Srebrenica Safe Area as poorly conceived, under-resourced and badly managed.

I finished this book with more understanding for the Dutch soldiers who have taken so much criticism after Srebrenica, but less sympathy for Dutch politicians at the UN who seemed clueless, the UN command structure which was so bewilderingly complex it seemed like four or five phone calls had to be made before anyone was allowed to fire a gun and the entire Safe Area concept, which on examination looks doomed to fail from the outset.

But let's not forget that for all the failings and mismanagement, the international community wasn't responsible for the terrible crimes at Srebrenica. Horrific raids were carried out by brutalised refugees on the villages around Srebrenica, which don't get talked about very much, and the very worst crime, the genocide of men and boys, was committed by Bosnian Serb forces under the control of Ratko Mladic.

Please read this book if like me, you struggle to understand the Balkan conflict and you want to gain a better understanding of this terrible event.


Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-95: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995
Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-95: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995
by Joe Sacco
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal perspective, 18 Oct. 2013
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What I liked about this book was the very matter-of-fact personal account of the conflict it presented. The drawing style evokes the ruined town and it's people in a stark and rather brutal way. The faces are lined and often ugly, everything looks grimy and worn out. The bodies of dead farm animals litter the streets. The horror of this situation is very well realised. I was also very pleased to see an author feature the stories of some Bosnian Serbs who stayed behind when the others left. This group of people are often ignored in conventional accounts of the war that present it in very absolute terms. Many Serbs believed in Izetbegovic's idea of a multi-ethnic Bosnia and wanted to stay in their communities, but they were too afraid. A small group of very brave people did stay behind with their muslim neighbours. Sadly the brutality of the war scarred everyone. I've never heard one of these people tell their story before, so it was nice to encounter it here.


The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia
The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia
by Tim Judah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A valuable insight, 12 Dec. 2012
I've read a number of books about the Yugoslav conflict, and the more I read, the more I wanted to understand things from the Serbian perspective, which often seems to be missing.

With this in mind, I found this book very interesting, particularly the way it tried to show how the Serbs' turbulent history has influenced the modern Serbian state's attitudes.

It also really helped me to see that ordinary Serbs were not the 'genocidal maniacs' (the author's words, not mine) that some accounts of the wars of the 1990's might lead readers to believe. They were misled and badly let down by their government and became global pariahs as a result.

I particularly liked the updated section on post-war Serbia and the period leading up to the assasination of Zoran Djindic

If I have a criticism, it's that the book seemed to jump around in time, so that it frequently described events out of sequence for the purposes of a story. This could be a bit confusing at times, especially as parts of Serbia's history seem very complex (to me, anyway).


Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook
Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook
by Mary Berry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

7 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book., 12 Dec. 2012
Mary can bake like a dream and I love her cakes, but shark? Really? Please leave the endangered species alone! If you want good advice about how to eat fish without driving them to extinction, just search for the Marine Stewardship Council and look at their sustainable fish recipes page.


Strange Little Girls
Strange Little Girls
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.93

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a complete transformation, 12 Sept. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strange Little Girls (Audio CD)
Unlike most of the people who’ve written reviews for this album, I’m not a die hard Tori fan. This is the first album of hers that I’ve ever bought. Having listened to it I have to say I think it’s a very clever and accomplished piece of work. On every single one of these tracks, Amos has managed to make the song her own, completely transforming the original sentiment. This doesn’t always work, as ‘Raining Blood’ is messy, and ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ carries on for far too long, but I think it’s a real testament to her musical talent that she can take a song like ‘Enjoy The Silence’ and transform it into a strange and beautiful ballad, and turn ‘Rattlesnakes’ into a kind of Country and Western stomper. It’s a moody, downbeat album, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Most of these songs really grew on me, and this has been one of the best things I’ve bought recently.


Strange Little Girls
Strange Little Girls
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.93

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complete transformation, 12 Sept. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strange Little Girls (Audio CD)
Unlike most of the people who’ve written reviews for this album, I’m not a die hard Tori fan. This is the first album of hers that I’ve ever bought. Having listened to it I have to say I think it’s a very clever and accomplished piece of work. On every single one of these tracks, Amos has managed to make the song her own, completely transforming the original sentiment. This doesn’t always work, as ‘Raining Blood’ is messy, and ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ carries on for far too long, but I think it’s a real testament to her musical talent that she can take a song like ‘Enjoy The Silence’ and transform it into a strange and beautiful ballad, and turn ‘Rattlesnakes’ into a kind of Country and Western stomper. It’s a moody, downbeat album, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Most of these songs really grew on me, and this has been one of the best things I’ve bought recently.


Fantasmo
Fantasmo
Price: £17.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a few stand out tracks and a lot of wierd ones., 30 Mar. 2002
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This review is from: Fantasmo (Audio CD)
I was really looking forward to getting this album after hearing 'Extensive Care' on the radio, but I was a bit dissapointed by it.Tracks like Phostograft and Extensive Care are brilliant, developing a stripped down synth sound which is really original, unlike the kind of pseudo-80s pop stuff produced by groups like Ladytron and FischerSpooner.But most of the rest of the album sounds like demos, or tracks they made in half an hour when they were bored (Lady Dragon Slayer?).Its ok, and interesting in some places-Flying Terrible Walrus sounds a bit like Basement Jaxx-but its not very listenable, or particularly good.Worth getting for Extensive Care alone, but not a great album.I'd quite like to see what they do next though.


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