From Publishers Weekly
The Kosovo Liberation Army was sparked and sustained by a roof contractor in Brooklyn who personally bought and shipped arms, massively fund-raised and provided ideological and tactical support to the fledgling guerrilla force. Sullivan, who covered the Balkans in the '90s for Newsweek
, mixes reportage (sometimes reconstructed) of the insurgent group's battles with Milosevic's Serb forces after Yugoslavia's disintegration with the KLA's improbable U.S.-based, backstory, gleaned after the conflict was messily resolved by a U.N.-led coalition (commanded by Wesley Clark). She is terrific in detailing the life of Florin Krasniqi, a Kosovar Albanian who emigrated illegally to the U.S. via Mexico in 1988, and took it upon himself to get the KLA off the ground once Milosevic's intentions (and the inefficacy of nonviolent resistance) became clear to him. Anecdotes of buying assault weapons at gun shows and taking them to Albania on conventional flights, of shopping for Stinger missiles in Pakistan and of the Muslim Krasniqi getting a great price on uniforms from Brooklyn Hasidim are as funny as they are unsettling. Snappily written with a keen eye for telling personal tics and crushing political ironies, Sullivan's book reveals that this crucial, underreported event of the late '90s was more multilateral than anyone imagined.
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"Stacy Sullivan allows us to peer into the shadowy world of revolutionaries, gangsters, gun runners and war profiteers who work below the surface of every conflict. Her story is as timeless as it is compelling. She chronicles the awful machinery of war, the high idealism and base cynicism, the brutal politics and utopian visions, which propel young men into battlefields and often leaves them broken and scarred. She captures, through her dogged reporting, the dark and frightening labyrinth of war."
- Chris Hedges, author of the national bestseller and finalist for the National Book Critics Award for War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
"Be Not Afraid is a war reporting tour de force - tough, thorough, and gut-wrenching. In the tradition of Anthony Lukas' Common Ground Stacy Sullivan gives us an unforgettable character - the avenging Brooklyn émigré Florin Krasniqi - to capture the full emotional toll of a brutal war we only thought we understood."
- Todd Balf, author of the New York Times bestseller The Last River and The Darkest Jungle
"Thanks to years of reporting, Stacy Sullivan has managed to hunt down the inside story of how a Brooklyn roofer helped launch a guerrilla army in the Balkans. With her remarkable tales of gun-running, intrigue, high politics, and murder, Sullivan has given us a work of contemporary history that reads more like a crime thriller. She has also offered a disturbing glimpse behind the scenes of one of the only wars ever waged on humanitarian grounds."
- Samantha Power, Pulitzer prize winning author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide