- By Roger Cohen

Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo

  • Title: Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo
  • Author: Roger Cohen
  • ISBN: 9780679452430
  • Page: 404
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Hearts Grown Brutal Sagas of Sarajevo In this brilliant book Roger Cohen of The New York Times takes us to the core of one of the th century s most complex stories weaving together the history of Yugoslavia and the story of the Bosnia

    In this brilliant book, Roger Cohen of The New York Times takes us to the core of one of the 20th century s most complex stories, weaving together the history of Yugoslavia and the story of the Bosnian War of 1992 to 1995, as experienced by four families I have tried to treat the story of Yugoslavia, which lived for 73 years, as a human one, Cohen writes in this mastIn this brilliant book, Roger Cohen of The New York Times takes us to the core of one of the 20th century s most complex stories, weaving together the history of Yugoslavia and the story of the Bosnian War of 1992 to 1995, as experienced by four families I have tried to treat the story of Yugoslavia, which lived for 73 years, as a human one, Cohen writes in this masterly book, which, like Thomas Friedman s From Beirut to Jerusalem and David Remnick s Lenin s Tomb, makes us eyewitnesses at the center of historic events In the aftermath of the Cold War, the Bosnian conflict shattered the West s confidence, reviving Europe s darkest ghosts and exposing an America reluctant to confront or acknowledge an act of genocide on European soil Through Cohen s compelling reconstruction of the 20th century history that led up to the war, and his account of the war s effect on everyday lives, we at last find the key to understanding Europe s most explosive region and its peoples This was a war of intimate betrayals, Cohen goes on to say, and in Hearts Grown Brutal, the betrayals begin in the family of a man named Sead Through his search for his lost father, we relive the history of Yugoslavia, founded at the end of World War I with the encouragement of President Woodrow Wilson Sead s desperate quest is punctuated by the lies, half truths, and pain that mark other sagas of Yugoslavia Through three families one Muslim Serb, one Muslim, and one Serb Croat we experience the war in Bosnia as it breaks up marriages and sets relative against relative The reality of the Balkans is illuminated, even as the hypocrisy of the international response to the war is exposed HeartsGrown Brutal is a remarkable book, a testament to the loss of a multi ethnic European state and a warning that the violence could return It is a magnificent achievement that blends history and journalism into a profoundly moving human story.

    1 thought on “Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo

    1. We were on the northern coast of Croatia when we first stumbled upon ruined, graffiti-spattered buildings. We walked around and we wondered.In Dubrovnik they spoke of bombings. The war seemed very far away. In Montenegro, the Europe we knew fell away. I had long talks with our Serbian host, who had a hard time conceiving of Montenegro as a separate country.But Bosnia stole my heart. The countryside, the friendly people, the winding streets, and oh, Sarajevo. Roger Cohen concludes with little mea [...]

    2. William Faulkner’s quote “The past is never dead. In fact, its not even past” applies even more so to what use to be Yugoslavia.This is an eloquent, passionate and powerfully written book. The author points out how disconcerting it was to take a flight out of war-torn Yugoslavia and land in less than an hour in a highly civilized European airport.My review will consist of passages from this very stirring book:Page 431 (my book) speech of Milosevic in Kosovo on June 28, 1989 (the six hundre [...]

    3. This is a story of failure. The Bosnian wars of 1991 – 1995 (and of Kosovo a few years after) transfixed me at the time, suddenly there was warfare and barbarity on the European continent fifty years after the end of World War II. In a nation, Yugoslavia, that had straddled the east-west Cold War like no other, that was made up of multiple ethnicities, whose origin and history was a mix of pragmatism and willful misunderstanding imposed from without and willful papering over of centuries long [...]

    4. Roger Cohen is/was a writer for the New York Times and went to Bosnia in 1992 to cover the war which resulted in the breakup of Yugoslavia and the impact as experienced by four families. The four families included Orthodox Christens, Catholics, Jews, and Muslins that had intermarried that the bottom line is, they all were Yugoslavians and so inter-mixed there was no clear separation. There was past history of fighting and intergrating going back to 350 AD that the bottom line a few people starte [...]

    5. This is one of the best overall histories of the Yugoslav wars I've read and it's also a heartfelt polemic against the ineffectual, dishonest and cowardly foreign policies adopted toward the conflict by the Western powers in Europe and the U.S. that could have provided real help much earlier. Cohen's arguments make it clear that earlier intervention very likely would have saved thousands of innocent lives and would have preserved Bosnia, to some extent, as a multi-confessional society and nation [...]

    6. A must-read book for those (like myself) who have never fully understood the complexities of the Yugoslav War of the 1990s. Cohen brings pointed indictments against the UN, Europe and the U.S. for failing to stop the atrocities of this war. I came away very discouraged by the inaction and mindless politics of those engaged in global leadership during this time. Unfortunately, I see parallels to current events in Sudan and Syria, as two examples.

    7. Like any book about war, this book was exhausting. But it was worth the effort. Roger Cohen wrote about his experiences in Bosnia/Serbia/Croatia as well as the experiences of several families. But, he also covered much of the countries' history--the history that we in the USA were led to believe was the cause of this awful war. It was an eye-opening experience to see the workings of the international community and the efforts made not to "intervene" and to "remain neutral" in this war which, as [...]

    8. You would think that a book about the Bosnian war would yield tons of books full of emotion, intensity and real life drama. Unfortunately, this is the second book I've attempted to read on the subject but I have not been able to get passed the first half without falling asleep every two pages. Although there are some stories of real people and their experiences, they are really just used as tools through which the author gives one LONG ASS history lesson on the Baltics. I love history but not th [...]

    9. For 3 years the city of Sarajevo was a shooting gallery for plum-drunk Serbian weekend warriors, Muslims were being rounded up by the thousands for execution and the world stood by wringing its hands, exclaiming "its just the Balkans". The author follows several families who endured this war and presents as concisely as possible the tangled history of the Balkans. I was left gasping and more than a little annoyed with myself for not realizing what was happening at the time. This book is a master [...]

    10. Cohen highlights the complexitiess and struggle around a region that has symbolized implosion in the modern era. Drawing on testimonies from civilian and military alike from bands as varied as Serbo-Croats, Muslim Bosniaks, and Orthodox-Muslim Turkic 'Yugoslavs' of Tito's patriotism, 20 years on the crossroads of The West and The Orient are still an alluring mystery to outsiders, and a bitter beauty to those within.

    11. Before the tragedies of Homs, Aleppo - and Syria , there were Sarajevo, Srebrenica - and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.And just like in Syria, the United Nations - held hostage by the balance of power between the five permanent members of the Security Council, each of which has a veto power - was also useless in the former Yugoslavia.

    12. Comprehensive and insightful presentation of the Serbian/Bosnian conflict that approaches the situation historical from the perspectives of the Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians. Articulate and highly readable for a complex and difficult subject.

    13. Fantastic book showing the "regular person" view of what happened in Sarajevo in the 90s. The book is very sad but its worth reading to know what really went on during that time.

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