Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege

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9780060926625: Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege
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Using the multiethnic staff of the city newspaper as a microcosm of the city itself, the author offers an account of war in Sarajevo

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From Booklist:

Gjelten has done a masterly job of capturing the drama of the Bosnian war, particularly as the conflict has affected the staff of Sarajevo's prizewinning weekly newspaper Oslobodjenje. The war began as a fight between Serb nationalists intent on carving out an ethnically pure state and Bosnian citizens who wanted their country to remain undivided. The city of Sarajevo, once famed as a model of cultural diversity and interfaith tolerance, was soon besieged and bombarded by the Serb forces. The 10-story Oslobodjenje headquarters building was targeted and destroyed by shell and mortar blasts. The newspaper staff, composed of Muslim, Croat, and Serb Bosnians working together, retreated to an underground bomb shelter and managed to continue publishing throughout the siege. In addition to providing a thorough explanation of the causes and prehistory of the war, Gjelten supplies an intimate account of the devastation and horror unleashed on the Bosnian people. The result is a breathtaking story that explores the role of the free press during wartime and a testament to the resilience and bravery of the human spirit. Kathleen Hughes

From Publishers Weekly:

The Sarajevo newspaper Oslobodjenje managed to publish daily throughout the first two years of the Bosnian Serb siege despite intermittent lack of electricity, water and fuel?not to mention the incessant bombardment and sniper fire that accounted for some 6000 deaths in the city in 1992-1993. Artillery shells tore the newspaper building apart floor by floor until it collapsed; the staff then moved to underground rooms originally intended as atomic bomb shelters. Gjelten's account of Oslobodjenje's fight to stay alive is a perfect metaphor of the struggle of a sophisticated European city to retain its multiethnic character even as it is being turned into "a great prison, a place of torture and deprivation." The newspaper's staff represents a genuinely multicultural model of life and work, demonstrating that it was still possible to work together in harmony. Gjelten, who won the George Polk Award for excellence in overseas reporting, has covered the war in the former Yugoslavia for National Public Radio since 1991. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Gjelten, Tom
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