Endgame The betrayal and fall of Srebrenica, Europe's worst massacre since World War II

David Rohde, 1967-

Book - 1997

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New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1997.
Main Author
David Rohde, 1967- (-)
1st ed
Physical Description
440 p. : maps
Includes index.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Nearly two years after Srebrenica's fall, New York Times reporter Rohde--whose award-winning Christian Science Monitor stories first brought wide attention to the slaughter by the Bosnian Serb army of thousands of civilians from what had been a UN-sponsored "safe area" for Bosnian Muslims--expands his analysis of that tragic battle and its bloody aftermath. The events of 10^-16 July 1995 are seen through the eyes of two Muslim civilians and a Muslim soldier, a Bosnian Serb policeman and a Bosnian Croat soldier who fought with the Serbs, and two Dutch peacekeepers. Rohde also traces the impact of waffling U.S., European, and UN policies. He challenges the "propaganda, mistrust, and rumor [that] sparked and fueled the war in Bosnia and played an insidious role in Srebrenica," sadly concluding that "Karadzic and Mladic ordered the manhunt and mass execution of Srebrenica's men because they wanted to, because they could and because they were confident that no one would ever hold them accountable for it. In hindsight, they appear to have been right." --Mary Carroll

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Rohde, now a reporter for the New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 (at age 28) for his stories in the Christian Science Monitor on the war in Bosnia that exposed the massacre of more than 7000 Muslims after the fall of Srebrenica. He found the mass graves and witnesses who could attest to the active role of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic in the slaughter. This book is a more detailed, even more horrifying examination of that atrocity. Employing a less flamboyant version of the eyewitness technique popularized in such books as The Longest Day, Rohde followed seven people step-by-step, day-by-day over 10 days in July 1995: three Muslim villagers from Srebrenica, who saw their neighbors systematically killed; two men who fought with the Bosnian Serbs and took part in the killing; and two Dutch U.N. peacekeepers who found themselves helpless to do anything about it. The power of this book‘which matches that of Schindler's List‘comes from the cool, almost mundane way in which the author recounts how one thing happened after another until a village was wiped into oblivion. Rohde also steps away from his eyewitnesses on the killing ground to follow the bureaucratic dithering of U.N. officials, who could have called in air strikes to save the village. "The fall of Srebrenica did not have to happen," he concludes in a pointed epilogue, but it did happen because the West chose to be powerless and because a leader on the spot‘General Mladic‘was more than eager to fan ethnic animosity. It is hard to imagine how this ugly story could be better told. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Srebrenica, a small city in eastern Bosnia, is the latest shameful name to emerge from the tragic disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rohde (Christian Science Monitor, New York Times) investigated the massacre of 7000 Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995 and was subsequently arrested by the Bosnian Serbs. Here he tells the story of the massacre and its aftermath through the eyes of seven people who were there: two Serbian soldiers, two Dutch peacekeepers, and three Muslim civilians. This is an effective way to depict a gruesome and infuriating event. Rohde argues that the fall of Srebrenica could have been prevented, but he is ultimately unable to explain the "collective failure" of the United States, the United Nations, and NATO in stopping the massacre. His investigation is carefully documented by over 300 footnotes. This is an important and revealing book for most public and academic libraries.‘Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Returning to the subject that has already earned him a Pulitzer Prize, journalist Rohde brings keen analysis and powerful convictions to the harrowing story of Srebrenica's fall and its victims. For almost two years, Rohde has been intimately involved in trying to uncover the truth about Srebrenica's missing Muslims, many of whom (at least 5,000 men and boys) are believed to have perished in mass executions conducted by Bosnian Serbs. After locating mass graves and credible survivors, the journalist was briefly taken prisoner by Bosnian Serbs. Endgame offers a day-to-day account of events leading up to the enclave's fall on July 16, 1995. Rohde manages his material with the hand of a novelist, describing settings and atmosphere, developing characters, highlighting the horror of events. Among the various individuals we meet are Muslim civilians (men and women), two Dutch UN peacekeepers, a Bosnian Serb policeman, and a number of soldiers. Readers feel the acute humiliation and frustration of Dutch peacekeepers who are ordered to surrender to advancing Bosnian Serbs, the arrogance of Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, and the fury and callousness of the executioners. Rohde carefully lays out his analysis and conclusions about the two central mysteries of Srebrenica's capture. First he raises the question of the massacre itself. Convinced that it happened, Rohde specifies the nature of its significance: the largest massacre in Europe since WW II, ``the intensity of its bloodletting,'' and ``the international community's role in the tragedy.'' Finally, Rohde gives a useful account of the many explanations of why Srebrenica fell, including the varied conspiracy theories about secret deals involving every conceivable party, from the authorities in Sarajevo to the Bosnian Serbs to UN officials. While the evidence is not conclusive, the atmosphere of connivance (and Western inaction) comes through clearly. A passionate account, and an important addition to the growing library of books about the Bosnian catastrophe.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.