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Balkan Odyssey (Harvest Book) Paperback – May 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005210
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,735,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Owen served as co-chairman of the steering committee of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia in 1992-1995. From a negotiator's vantage point, he describes the search for a just settlement that would roll back Serb advances and allow the surviving "ethnically cleansed" to return to their homes. He reviews the Vance-Owen peace plan, which, he points out, featured strong internationally monitored human rights provisions, and describes how it came under ill-informed attack and was then ditched by the Clinton administration in May 1993. Owen remains convinced that if George Bush had won reelection in 1992, there would have been a settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina based on the plan, probably without U.S. troops but with a firm commitment to logistical air support. Owen's account is useful for its insight into the relationship among the UN, NATO and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the current Balkan crisis. The author served as British foreign secretary from 1977 to 1979. Illustrations.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Harcourt isn't known for doing instant books, but here is one book on which it's moving very, very fast. Signed in September for a February 1 release, this work by the chief European Community negotiator in the Balkans promises a real insider's report on the war raging there.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aubrey Verboven on November 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Lord Owen's recounting of his efforts to help resolve the Bosnian war is really little more than a list of meetings and conferences. To this dry unending litany he adds a few cursory and, in some cases, inaccurate descriptions of players associated with the conflict. If you are hoping to get insight from a seemingly well placed person who spent hours and days locked in discussion with some of the 20th Century's most reviled figures you will not find it here. His descriptions are little more than ambiguous diplomatic niceties. During the course of this confusing peace process, Owen only occasionally pens restrained displeasure about the continued obstructionism of American administrations and the blatant deception of Balkan leaders. Just as the international community feared backlash against any form of decisive action, it seems Lord Owen had similar reservations about libel - neither approach is conducive to establishing lasting peace nor fruitful discourse. Owen's isolation in conference rooms and hotels quickly becomes apparent as his detached, incomplete descriptions of realities on the ground appear more like secondhand gossip than any useful form of analysis.
In this book, Lord Owen missed a glorious opportunity to expose the countess agendas and duplicities he faced from all sides. He could have spoken his mind but instead chose to remain a politician. In the end, this book is really just another apology for the shameful failure of Western collective security.
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Format: Paperback
David Owen gives a very personal account of his experiences as a mediator, including his frustrations with the attitude of the international community (in particular the US). His views are very useful to understand the mechanisms of international diplomacy in a highly mediatised conflict. It is rather simplistic, in my view, to depict Owen as someone who tried to favorise one one the parties in the conflict.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book should possibly be given 3.5 stars. I will put it closer to 3, because sincerely, I think it is written in a way, that at times is not conducive to reading, especially with the excellent books on the region by many different authors, it seems to be a chore at times.
To avoid sounding editorial, I won't even mention those others at this point. However, if anyone can point out any errors in my analysis, it is welcome. I don't mean to slight Lord Owen in any way. His view, may be a more "Tory" view of the conflict. That is why, reading all sides is important. If it can be compared to anything else written about the region, maybe it is another diplomats book Holbrooke's To end a war. In fact, those who read books on the region, might see some flaws in parts of both books, however, I wonder if the "arrogant" description, some assign to Holbrooke is more apt to Lord Owen? Still, Lord Owen does at times, gives interesting information for the reader. It is though, information, that one has to take into account with other sources of information. This might include such incidences as what he says about the Markale market incident. One should compare that to, say, what the United Nations officially says and other sources of information, such as what author David Rohde says in his book, Endgame.
At times, Lord Owen's book may be pro-Serb, as far as a description of the conflict. With many books seeming to be derogattory towards that side of the conflict, it is important to read all sides, to determine what the truth would seem to be, and then can one be sure?
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. Craig on December 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lord Owen is clearly getting brickbats for being "pro Serb" (he has said as a witness to Milosevic's "trial" that he was the only leader who consistently supported peace & that any form of racism was "anathema" to him). On the other hand nobody points out any factual errors. One reviewer refers to Fikret Abdic as a smuggler when, as a matter of fact, he was the most popular moslem politician & Bosnia who had clearly beaten Izetbegovic in a straight election.

If the facts prove that the Croatian & Moslem Nazis were genocidal nazis, as they do, it would be wrong to say otherwise. On the other hand Lord Owen would hardly have been criticised had he lied to uphold the cover story of the genocidal western leaders who supported them.
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