A new TPM Featured Book, Love Thy Neighbor by Peter Maass, one of the most riveting, humane and wise books I've ever read -- certainly the best book I've read about what happened in the Balkans in the 1990s.
Here's what I wrote about it in a short TPM review back in March 2002 ...
It's about the war in Bosnia. Not the whole of Yugoslavia. It's not a history, either. It's a war reporter's memoir. If you're looking for the big-picture about the Balkans in the 1990s or the what happened in Kosovo or Croatia or inside Serbia, this isn't the book -- though it contains important information on each of those topics.
This is an interior story, what Maass himself saw. And it is by far the best piece of writing I've read of any of the books written on the 1990s Balkans. By far the best.
Reading it you see how the war in Bosnia was tragic in the deepest, most regret-inspiring and folly-filled sense of the word. This book will make you feel moments of agony. It will also make you laugh. Perhaps most uncomfortably, it will sometimes join these two feelings and reactions quite closely in time. I would say it is the best piece of war reporting I've ever read. And I believe it is. Only covering the Bosnian war, as Maass describes it, wasn't exactly a war so much as a loosely-organized, long-running series of individual and group murders.
This book is humane, and comic, and horrifying in each of the right measures and moments. I cannot recommend it more strongly. If you read it I think it will change you. Perhaps forever.