My War Criminal: Personal Encounters with an Architect of Genocide

Ecco. Jan. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780060889555. $28.99. POL SCI
Stern (Pardee Sch. of Global Studies, Boston Univ.; Terror in the Name of God) here attempts to gain insight into the mind and actions of Radovan Karadzic (b. 1945), a former politician in Republika Srpska, an entity in Bosnia and Herzegovin. Karadzic, a Bosnian Serb, was the architect behind the massacre of thousands of non-Serbs during the Siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1996. Over a period of two years, from 2014 to 2016, Stern interviewed Karadzic at The Hague, where the former politician has been sentenced to a life term for crimes against humanity. Stern attempts to discover what led Karadzic, a psychiatrist, to fall into a life of fraud and, later, be responsible for genocide. The author allows readers to draw their own conclusions, suggesting that a sense of Serb nationalism drove Karadzic’s actions, leading him to believe that ethnic cleansing would ultimately create the new Serb order he desired. Stern’s book is a worthy complement to Robert Donia’s Radovan Karadzic: Architect of the Bosnian Genocide.
VERDICT An informative work for academic collections supporting studies in Balkan history.

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