From Publishers Weekly
This is the dramatic story of a heroic journalistic feat. During the recent Bosnian Serb siege of Sarajevo, the city's Oslobodjenje newspaper, of which Kurspahic was editor-in-chief, hit the streets on schedule every day but one (May 14, 1992). This book is both a history of the paper dating back to the years before WWII and a personal account of getting the news out under the worst possible conditions. Beginning in April 1992 and continuing for more than three years, the Bosnian Serbs and their allies effectively bottled Sarajevo up and subjected it to regular, disastrous artillery and sniper attacks. During that time, the paper's circulation dropped from 80,000 to 3500 as enemy gunfire leveled the press building's towers and eventually demolished the entire building. Kurspahic, who came to the paper as a cub reporter at 16, not only tells how he and his beleaguered staff did it but also discusses earlier struggles: the paper's anti-Nazi past, the effort in 1990 to free it from Communist Party control, the subsequent moves to keep it independent of any nationalist faction?Croatian, Muslim, Serb. Despite all the drama, Kurspahic's story provides a level of detail that may not greatly interest general readers. Christopher Hitchens of the Nation magazine and Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist Roy Gutman contribute long and admiring introductory essays. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This remarkable book by the editor of Sarajevo's main newspaper, Oslobodjenje ("Liberation"), is a story of the publication's struggle for free expression against the assaults of Communists and nationalists and for its very survival during the city's horrific siege under Serb guns. It is also a tale of indomitable courage in the face of deprivation, destruction, and death as the paper became a metaphor of its staff's endurance and their city's ordeal. The author's commitment to the truth emerges in accounts both of Serbs who deserted to Bosnia's "Serb Republic" and of those blinded by "Muslim racism." Such values earned Kurspahic the highest awards in Western journalism, yet he finds a "sad irony" in the newspaper's achievement and his country's effective "partition" after the Dayton accords. This book nicely complements Tom Gjelten's Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege (LJ 2/1/95). Recommended for public and larger academic libraries.?Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ.-Erie
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.