Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security Hardcover – September 2, 2011
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
- Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
Swanee Hunt chairs the Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security. During her tenure as US ambassador to Austria (1993–97), she hosted negotiations and symposia focused on securing the peace in the neighboring Balkan states. She is a member of the US Council on Foreign Relations, the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the president of Hunt Alternatives Fund. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, and she has written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the International Herald Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and the Huffington Post, among other publications. She is the author of Half-Life of a Zealot and This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, both also published by Duke University Press.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Two things hold me back from a full 5 stars: The last portion of the book is a bit pedantic in its descriptions of "lessons learned". Secondly, Hunt's protestant American spiritual background gives her narrative a not-to-subtle colouration which chaffed this confirmed atheist. But both are simply a part of who Swanee Hunt is, take it or leave it, and don't encroach on the fundamental statement she makes in the main part of the book --- that this war had nothing to do with religious differences and the west got it terribly wrong.
Swanee Hunt, former U.S. Ambassador to Austria, was a participant in the international effort to assist in the resolution of the Bosnian Conflict. She gives sketches of the war and discusses what lessons can be learned from this and other conflicts.
Author Swanee Hunt takes an interesting approach in this look at the war in Bosnia. Rather than writing a straight narrative account of its history from start to finish, she has chosen to present a series of vignettes, alternating between "Insider" and "Outsider" perspectives. Initially, I found the book's structure a bit unsettling, especially since the first events do not seem to move in chronological order. Let me point out, however, that my copy is a galley, and therefore might be rearranged in the editing process prior to final publication. After the first few stories, this problem resolved itself and many pieces actually seemed to set up the next. I loved the formatting once I had settled in to the flow of the book. No, this book is not an exhaustive recitation of the conflict from start to finish, but Ms. Hunt offers so much more.
While she does not attempt to write the whole history of the war, she does begin the book with an excellent section entitled "Context", in which she gives a brief glimpse of enough history of the area to help her reader understand the causes of the conflict and then a very brief outline of the war itself. This section is also used to lay the groundwork for a major premise of the book-that the conflict in Bosnia was not a religious war.
In employing her alternating sections format, Ms. Hunt is able to bring in a large number of voices. The "Outsider" sections feature diplomats and state department personnel from a number of countries outside of Bosnia. Conversely, the "Insider" accounts are those of people living through the conflict inside the country. Had she used a straight narration I would likely have said that the cast of players was too large, but within this structure it absolutely works. It also enables her to portray in very stark fashion the dichotomy between events such as an embassy dinner and a meeting with a group of women in Bosnia.
During the conflict Swanee Hunt was the U.S. Ambassador to Austria, the closest diplomatic mission to Bosnia geographically. In addition to taking a very active part in the U.S. Department of State's role in attempting to broker peace, the author spent a good deal of time trying to understand the conflict from the viewpoint of everyday Bosnians. She is a strong believer in the role that women can and should fill in unsettled areas of the world, and she invested much of her time providing support for the women of Bosnia as they gathered after the conflict to work together, across ethnic lines, for stability and unity within their country. As Ambassador Hunt points out, women make up more than half of a given country's post-war citizens and can and should be part of the peace process. Bosnia also had the interesting extra benefit of having, at that time, more female PhDs per capita than any other European country. Since Bosnia, Swanee Hunt has gone on to found an organization dedicated to empowering women around the world in the political process and in business.
To wrap up her book, the author closes with six lessons, well supported with examples from not only Bosnia but countries from virtually every continent, which can be learned from past wars and applied to how the international community addresses unrest in the future.
Star Rating: Four stars
Target Audience: Bosnia is not an area I knew a whole lot about, but I had no trouble following the book. I think most readers will find Ambassador Hunt's newest offering to be a very engrossing experience. It would be an excellent book to use with students, although I would suggest those not younger than sixteen, as war atrocities and genocide are discussed in some detail.
Throughout the conflict and beyond, most diplomats involved, unlike Ambassador Hunt, had virtually no contact with ordinary citizens. The peace process included those who waged war, and ignored those who waged peace: Bosnian women. They were rarely included among the "experts" who hammered out the Dayton accords after the war. Women were treated as victims, Hunt writes, instead of the tough survivors, leaders and witnesses they are. Hunt points out Yugoslavian women had the highest percentage of Ph.Ds of any European country, but were missing in designing the country's future. In the run up to the war, women were absent among the dozens of lawyers experts, and political leaders plotting the country's destiny.
Ambassador Hunt's reflections are woven through dozens of stories which argue for the necessity of "inclusive security" in the peace process. This insightful book should be a blueprint for the diplomatic community and must-reading for a more peaceful world.