Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Excellent insider's view of Balkan conflict and Dayton
on 14 July 1999
Several reviewers have labeled Holbrooke either racist or merely biased. I am an American, not of Serb descent, but a serious student of Serb life and history. I speak Serbian, lived in Serbia, visited all the key Serb historic/cultural sites, including a thorough survey of medieval Serb monasteries. I have visited all corners of the former Yugoslavia including four visits to Kosovo. I say all this not to be arrogant as some reviewers accuse Mr. Holbrooke; rather to give some credentials of a person who well understands Balkan mindsets and who is not anti-Serb (I love Serbia and most Serb people!). As such, I consider Mr. Holbrooke's views and accounts very balanced, fair, and ethical. My suspicion is that the flames of reviewers own passions and biases enter here in large measure. This is a fascinating book written by an admirable civil servant. His inside accounts of dealings with Milosevic, Tudjmann, Izetbegovic and others are simply marvelous. I personally knew Nikola Koljevic, the suicide victim ex-Bosnian Serb VP and former chairman of the English Dept at the Univ. of Sarajevo and found Holbrooke's harsh treatment of Koljevic very believable. This is a balanced book for balanced people; unfortunately there are many Balkan natives with axes to grind who are not easily pleased.