December Books 4) This Was Not Our War

4) This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, by Swanee Hunt

I have to speak about this at an event later tonight, and if I’m happy with my speech I’ll post it here. Swanee Hunt was the US ambassador to Austria for the later stages of the Bosnian war and the immediate aftermath, and one senses that as an outsider – a political appointee in the US diplomatic service – she was trying also to bring other outsider voices into the process. But she keeps herself largely in the background, and the book is a collection of interviews with twenty-six Bosnian women of diverse backgrounds, with the interviews edited and assembled by theme, to give a rounded picture of, say, perceptions of history, actual wartime experience, the chance of reconciliation. Moving and thought-provoking.

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