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Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War Paperback – February 25, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (February 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679763899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679763895
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Peter Maass from the center of the nightmare in Bosnia, a war correspondent's montage of images - eerie, grotesque, ironic, angry, absurd. A Serb and Muslim, friends before the war, exchanging gossip via shortwave radio hours before they will try to kill each other. The Serbian president coolly denying reports of atrocities that have been witnessed by hundreds. A battlefield doctor performing miracles of surgery without anesthetic. Drivers without headlights gambling their lives in the darkness of no-man's-land while schoolchildren scamper across Sniper Alley. The author takes us with him into the minefields of modern war with a fierce, vivid, and personal book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Torture, mass murder of civilians, rape and looting are common occurrences in Washington Post staff writer Maass's intensely personal firsthand report on the war in the former Yugoslavia, based on his tour as a foreign correspondent in 1992-1993 and supplemented by up-to-date political analysis. His disturbing mosaic portrays ordinary individuals caught up in an ongoing tragedy. Rejecting the Serbs' claim that they faced imminent genocide at the hands of a radical Muslim dictatorship in Bosnia, Maass charges that Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic and his fellow nationalist extremists used the specter of Islamic persecution as a smoke screen behind which to pursue their expansionist dreams of a Greater Serbia. Maass interviews Milan Koracevic, the unrepentant Serb warlord who supervised "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia, and he scathingly limns Charles Redman, U.S. special envoy to the Geneva peace talks. To Maass, President Clinton and his western European allies are weak-willed appeasers whose agenda was to give the Serbs virtually everything they wanted and to award half of Bosnia to Serbia. BOMC alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Mr. Maass writes an excellent book.
There were many times I had to set the book down and walk away from it to get my mind off of what I was reading.
I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to learn about recent events in the Balkans.
Chuck J. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By heather tyler on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Peter Maass was a Washington Post correspondent in Bosnia 1992-93 and this is his riveting, emotive account of the war. Maass echoes many of us when he unashamedly asks the most difficult questions: Why did 250,000 Bosians lose their lives, why can't Muslims and Christians work their differences out after so long, why did genocide occur in Europe when at the end of WW II the world declared it would never happen again, why was the UN impotent once it got into Bosnia, why is the thin skin of civility easily torn and the brutality that lies beneath so easily provoked? Maass was not a cynical, hotel room hero that gives journalism a bad name, those hacks more interested in boasting in the bar and filing stories from second-hand accounts provided by local help-meets. He did his job well and came away shell-shocked, angry and fundamentally changed by what he saw: UN troops standing by while atrocities took place, how residents of Sarajevo nightly ran the gauntlet of the airport, surgeons operating without drugs, children dying on the daily water run, snipers on opposing sides chatting to one another on a two-way radio, the flourishing drug trade, people cheating, lying, killing and stealing to keep their loved ones alive. Maass speculates a little too much - some judicious editing wouldn't have gone astray - and he cannot adequately analyse the causes of the war and the outcomes for the victims involved but this was not his job anyway. He was there as a recorder of events that became a black mark in history and that he did, admirably. Maass, like veteran journalist Simon Winchester who succinctly wrote of the later crisis in Kosovo and asked similar questions, gave ordinary victims of this war a voice.Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Paul on March 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mr. Maass writes an excellent book.
simply excellent.
He documents his time in the insane asylum that we called Bosnia in the early 90's. His writing is exceptional and the stories he tells are heartbreaking. Great books are either average writers who witness extrodinary events or extrodinary writers who witness average events. Maass is an extrodinary writer in an extrodinary situation.
This is the best book I have ever read of the Bosnian fiasco. As a former UN Peacekeeper it brought back old shivers and memories. Like anything people can read a bias or a slant into things, but Maass has truly captured the whole debacle in one book. The blame side of it Maass points the fingers at those inside the country who helped destablize it, the various diaspora who essentially bankrolled it, the politicians who encouraged it, the non-Yugoslav politicians who just ignored it and hoped it went away.
An awesome read, not a boring blow by blow historical analysis but a look at the people caught in the worst atrocities in Europe in 50 years
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Chuck J. Johnson on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the modern Balkans, particularly the Serb aggression that began with the rise of Milosevic in the late 80's.
Love They Neighbor is a telling of Serbia's horrific war against Bosnia and Bosnia's Muslim population as seen firsthand by Mass while he was there. Maass begins this book with a journalistic attempt to remain impartial and simply tell what he sees, however, it soon becomes clear to him that the Serbs are the aggressors and the horror the Serbs are perpetrating against their Balkan brothers and sisters is something not seen since Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. This book is not an impartial accounting of what was going on; it is an accounting of the atrocities that were perpetrated by the Serbs and tolerated by the West.
In my opinion, the best part of the book was Maass's detailing of how first the Bush administration and then the Clinton administration failed to take relatively easy measures to end the aggression. Maass also details how the U.N., instead of helping protect those being slaughtered actually implemented policies that helped the Serbs carry out their terror and ethnic cleansing. Maass tells the truth in this book, but the fact is telling the truth, in this case, can not leave one impartial.
Maass also explains thing that our cookie cutter modern new services do not explain; like how the Muslim's the Serbs were persecuting were not any more religiously extremist that your average American. One interesting moment Maass notes is when Clinton is dedicating the Holocaust museum, stating that the museum is a reminder that we can't let this happen again, while his administration, NATO, and the U.N. were actively letting it happen again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sanela Ramic Jurich on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who lived there in 1992-1993, I can tell you that this book is the only completely truthful version of what happened in Bosnia. As horrible as the war in Bosnia sounds in this book, it was even worse. Mr. Maass diluted it a bit.
He did a great job explaining the Balkan history. I know it's a bit challenging for an outsider to grasp the Balkans and its complicity, but Mr. Maass understood it completely. I feel so grateful to him first of all for going there in the first place and for taking the time to get to know the Bosnian people. He saw the truth and that's all that matters. Thank you Mr. Maass from the bottom of my heart. I survived the genocide done by the Serbs and I can tell you, it's not something you forget easily. I was lucky to survive, however, not too many of us survived and are brave enough to talk about what happened. You did it for us by writing this book. You told the world about us. Thank you!
I would definitely recommend this book be used in schools to educate our children of what really happened because, as a survivor of something so horrible, I find it very hurtful to hear some of the versions of the genocide taught in our schools. My own children are learning that the Serbs were the victims here and the unfairness of it is killing me. The world would be a much better and safer place if everyone would just say the truth.
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Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War
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