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The war that erupted in April 1992 has turned Bosnia into what Rieff starkly--and accurately--calls a slaughterhouse. In this chronicle of his time spent in Bosnia between 1992 and 1994, Rieff presents an unforgettable "lament for Bosnia and a stinging indictment of Western policy" Michael Ignatieff, New York Times Book Review.
Ronald Steel An acute and impassioned observer, David Rieff relates the tragedy of Bosnia with fire and anger.
Anthony Lewis The New Republic An epitaph for Bosnia, or for us. I do not think anyone should be able to read this book without pain and anger.
Posted August 20, 2013
I bought this book hoping to learn more about the Bosnian war. While I did learn things I didn't know before, I often found the way the author was presenting the information to be distracting. There was no real human side to the book, which was disappointing, just the author's opinions and some facts thrown at you. As I read the first chapter, I felt like I was being yelled at by a writer who was obviously furious that America didn't really do much of anything to help Bosnia. The writer has a habit of using "had had" when discussing things...this is not something that I would usually mention, but he did it so much that it really started to annoy me. However, there were moments throughout the book when the author had my full attention and I found myself asking "How could people just stand by and let this happen?!" I have friends who came to the US after the war and couldn't help but continually think about what they lived through at such a young age and how terrified they and their parents must have been.
Overall, while I took issue with the writing style of this book, it is very informative and helpful in my quest to learn more about all sides of the Bosnian war.
Posted April 3, 2001
As someone who knows very little about the situation in Bosnia, I found ¿Slaughterhouse¿ to be quite informative. As I began reading the book, I could not help but feel ashamed of the fact that I was someone who knows so little about Bosnia. But as I continued reading Rieff¿s powerful indictment of the reaction of the United Nations and the West, I began to have a better understanding of why my awareness of the genocide in Bosnia was so lacking. I surely cannot attest to how accurate his scathing criticisms of the United Nations and the West are. In fact, his criticism is so unrelenting and one-sided, that I am certainly left wondering whether his emotions may have influenced his overall treatment of the West, which might be understandable given the circumstances and what he witnessed. Yet, even if his criticism of the West is overstated, I still felt that it shed some light on why a relatively educated person like myself was so ignorant of a genocide that was going on. But despite his emotional rants, Rieff¿s book gave a relatively uninformed reader like myself insight onto what went on in Bosnia. In particular, I was particularly affected by the fact that so many of the heinous acts of ¿ethnic cleansing¿ were carried out against former neighbors and friends. Moreover, his account of the history of the conflict, and Europe¿s historical apathy (or antipathy) towards the Bosnian Muslims also was something from which I felt I learned a great deal. While the book may have shortcomings for any expert on the conflict and genocide in Bosnia, the book presents a good account of what went on and was allowed to persist.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.