Sarajevo reading list

Here is the text-based list of books about Sarajevo and the Bosnian War recommended by CBC's Carol Off.


The Death of Yugoslavia (Laura Silber and Allan Little)

"This is the best reference book I've ever had. The journalists literally interviewed everyone in the most frank and candid way and got a complete understanding of what happened in the war. Companion to this is the five-part BBC TV series of the same name."

A Witness to Genocide (Roy Gutman) and Love Thy Neighbour: A Story of War (Peter Maass)

"These are two brilliantly written books by men who were on the front lines and were among the first to reveal the ethnic cleansing operations and the concentration camps."

As Long as Sarajevo Exists (Kemal Kurspahic)

"Kemal was the man who kept the Oslobedjenje daily newspaper rolling off the printing presses for the entire war."

The Bridge Betrayed
(Michael Sells), Blood and Belonging (Michael Ignatieff) and Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West (David Rieff)

"These are three books with hard-hitting analysis of why the war happened and why the western world failed to stop the war."

A Problem from Hell
(Samantha Power)

"[The title] sounds like who would want to read that, but she just gives
tremendous context and understanding to how we end up as people doing bad things. And people believe good people can't do bad things, but it's so easy to see a society fall apart ... I think Samantha Power best captures the spirit of how fragile our democracies are."

The Lion, the Fox and the Eagle (Carol Off)

"The fox in that book is the story of Lewis MacKenzie and the role he played in, I think, perpetuating this idea that these people couldn't live together and it was an ethnic war when it really was an attack on a multicultural society. And then the eagle in the book is Louise Arbour who is an amazing judge and lawyer who went off to be become the chief prosecutor of war crimes for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda ... two amazing Canadians, one infamous, one famous, who actually did have a great deal of influence on how that war ended up."