9780140286816 / 0140286810

Blood and Vengeance: One Family's Story of the War in Bosnia


Publisher:Penguin Books



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About the book:

"There is a method to presenting the reality of war in [New York] Times style," writes Chuck Sudetic, "a restrictive method but a perfectly valid one just the same. It focuses mainly on institutions and political leaders and their duties and decisions, while leaving the common folk to exemplify trends, to serve as types: a fallen soldier, a screaming mother, a dead baby.... The method is described by various terms: detachment, disinterestedness, dispassion, distancing, and others with negative prefixes engineered to obliterate any relationship between observer and observed."

Although Sudetic was able to maintain his detachment for the numerous stories he filed from the frontlines of the Bosnian war for the Times, it could not ultimately last. Blood and Vengeance examines the events leading up to the July 1995 genocidal massacre that took place in and around the town of Srebenica from the perspective of the Celik family (to whom the author is related by marriage). Sudetic ably blends the intimate chaos and terror of the Celiks' lives with broader historical and contemporary accounts that provide a fuller context for what happened. The people here are not types, but vividly portrayed individuals in whose lives the reader gradually becomes absorbed. This book ranks with Peter Maass's Love Thy Neighbor as one of the closest--and most chilling--looks at the tumultuous events that shattered post-cold war Eastern Europe. --Ron Hogan

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