Mr. Tim Judah Kosovo: War and Revenge

ISBN 13: 9780300083132

Kosovo: War and Revenge

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9780300083132: Kosovo: War and Revenge

"Kosovo: War & Revenge" explains how Kosovo became the crucible of one of the century's most pernicious conflicts: how Serbs and Albanians, sharing this tiny corner of Europe, became locked into a ferocious cycle of domination and revenge. It shows how the conflict that began here led not only to the destruction of the old Yugoslavia, but to a war waged by the world's most powerful military alliance. The book sets the conflict in its full historical context. It analyzes the character and career of Slobodan Milosevic and explains how Kosovo provided the springboard for him to mobilize the Serbs and seize supreme power. It reveals the great lost opportunity of the February 1999 Rambouillet conference for peace and compromise in the southern Balkans. It explains how exiled Kosovar militants could take their war from Swiss cafes to the mountains of northern Albania. And it examines how and why NATO launched its first ever war - a 78-day campaign of high-tech air strikes against Serbia - believing the onslaught would be over in days. Based on research, eyewitness reports and interviews with the leading protagonists, Judah's book presents a detailed account of the origins of the Serb-Albanian conflict, the course of the war, involvement of the Western powers, the implications for the global strategic landscape, and the options for the future.

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Review:

Tim Judah lived in Belgrade from 1990 to 1995, reporting for the London Times and the New York Review of Books; and when the "ethnic cleansing" started in Kosovo, he was there. So his Kosovo: War and Revenge is well placed to offer some insights, variously scathing and compassionate, on the whole, sorry mess. It doesn't matter how many Serbian tanks you (allegedly) knock out with your high-tech bombing raids, "since the most potent weapon in ethnic cleansing is the cigarette lighter needed to set houses on fire." And Judah can evoke the madness of Kosovo in a single, startling set piece: vengeful Albanians rampaging through a Serbian Orthodox priest's house, smashing icons, stealing candles; French soldiers from KFOR "looking on amiably"; a nearby Gypsy house also on fire; and a passing French commander explaining to an open-mouthed Judah that the official NATO policy at this moment is "to let them pillage." Paraphrasing a Belgrade journalist, he notes sadly that Serbia has still not found its Adenauer, nor Kosovo its Mandela, which is what both so desperately need. The introductory chapter, summarizing Kosovo's tortured and tortuous history, is better rendered in Noel Malcolm's Kosovo: A Short History, and for a wider overview of the Balkans themselves, one would certainly prefer Misha Glenny's The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers 1809-1999. For an acerbic and perceptive personal account, however, Judah's book is hard to beat. --Christopher Hart, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Tim Judah has studied the conflict in the former Yugoslavia for a decade. Between 1990-95 he lived in Belgrade covering the wars in Croatia and Bosnia for the London Times and the Economist. During the war in Kosovo, Judah broadcast widely and wrote for the New York Review of Books, the London Observer, the Sunday Telegraph, and the Guardian Weekend magazine. He is also the author of a prizewinning book entitled The Serbs: History, Myth, and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (ISBN: 0 300 07656 8 PB. #9.95), published by Yale University Press.

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Judah, Mr. Tim
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