Seasons in Hell: Understanding Bosnia's War

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vulliamy, a British journalist with keen powers of observation and nerves of steel, describes what he saw during his 1992-1993 coverage of the war in Bosnia. Much of his compelling narrative consists of scenes in which drunken thugs and uniformed lynch mobs perpetrate outrages and atrocities against civilians, including the systematic rape of women. The testimony he collected for his chapter on rape in the war zone encompasses, as he puts it, ``every conceivable dark cranny of sexual sadism and male violence.'' Vulliamy denounces the UN and the European Community for failing to come to the aid of Bosnia's stillborn democracy, especially its Muslim population, and for denying them the means to defend themselves. His coverage of the fighting in the former Yugoslavia earned him Grenada Television's Foreign Correspondent of the Year award in 1992. Photos. (Sept.)
Library Journal
As this review is being written, the morning Internet brings news of fresh Serbian "ethnic cleansing." The shock is not diminished, and Vulliamy's excellent work of firsthand reportage of the Serb and Croat war against the Muslims provides both context and understanding of the carnage, not least in the words of victims and participants. Most chilling are the words of a Serbian "intellectual" that Sarajevo was theater to divert world attention from what was happening elsewhere. More complete than Roy Gutman's excellent A Witness to Genocide (LJ 10/1/93), Vulliamy's account of the Bosnian war and the betrayal by the diplomats of "Western civilization" is so vivid that reading it produces moral and physical pain. This account of human and cultural genocide is essential reading for all but the morally indifferent.-H. Steck, SUNY at Cortland
Jay Freeman
Anyone who has followed the outrages perpetrated by Bosnian Serbs and Croats upon their Muslim neighbors must find it hard to be objective; perhaps to his credit, Vulliamy makes it clear that objectivity is not his goal here. Rather, he attempts to show the horrors inflicted on a people whose only crime is to be caught between the virulent revanchist nationalisms of Serb and Croat. While Vulliamy avoids the trap of equating the Serbs with Nazis and the Muslims with Jews, the parallels are certainly there. Vulliamy's rage is directed primarily against Serbian nationalists, but he also displays contempt for the inactivity of the Western powers. This is a work that tears at the emotions and shocks the sensibilities of decent people. Nevertheless, it is essentially a one-sided scream; while it eloquently serves to highlight the ongoing horror of Bosnia, it does not point the way to an ultimate, lasting solution that can send the demons of ethnic hatred back to the hell whence they came.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312113780
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/8/1994
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Introduction: The Meaning of History
Dramatis Personae 1
Introduction: The War of Maps 3
Prelude: The War in Croatia 11
Pt. I A View of History from Hell
1 What is Bosnia-Herzegovina? 29
2 Bosnia's End Game: The Players 42
Pt. II Greater Serbia
3 Sarajevo, the War Begins 73
4 The First Ethnic Cleansing 85
5 The Camps, Echoes of the Reich 98
6 Meanwhile, the Diplomats: The World Wakes Up 118
7 Exodus into No Man's Land 125
8 Travnik, Crossroads of the War 139
Interval: Travnik Voices - 1 - Autumn 1992 145
9 Meanwhile, the Diplomats: Promises, Promises 157
10 'Top Guns' - a People under Siege 163
11 Sarajevo, from Siege to Torture 186
12 Rape - 'Reward against the Innocent' 195
13 Fikret Alic Revisited 202
Pt. III Greater Croatia
14 Blackshirts and the Rule of Madness 209
15 A Knife in the Back 221
16 Meanwhile, the Diplomats: A Foreign Field that is Forever England 235
17 The Land Grab 254
Interval: Travnik Voices - 2 - Spring 1993 263
18 Srebrenica and Europe's Last Stand 271
19 Massacre and Revenge 287
20 Meanwhile, the Diplomats: The Final Betrayal 299
21 Serbian End Games: Sarajevo 304
22 Croatian End Games: Mostar and the Camps 320
Interval: Travnik Voices - 3 - Summer 1993 343
Afterword: The End of Hope 347
Appendix: Genocide in our Lifetime 352
Notes 358
Index 363
List of Maps
1 Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina
a) Ethnic make-up pre-war
b) Military control, August, 1992
3 The Croat push, October 1992-June 1993
4 The Vance-Owen plan, January 1993
5 Military control in Bosnia, August 1993
6 The proposed partition of Bosnia, September 1993
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