This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace


Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.33 X 0.72 X 9.24 inches | 1.48 pounds
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About the Author

Swanee Hunt chairs the Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security. During her tenure as U.S. ambassador to Austria (1993-97), she hosted negotiations and symposia focused on securing the peace in the neighboring Balkan states. She is a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the president of Hunt Alternatives Fund, and the author of Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security and Half-Life of a Zealot, both also published by Duke University Press.


"Here is history watched in its unfolding, then put on record. Women tell an astute listener what they saw, read, and remember even as their careful witness--at once an eloquent and tragic story--is enabled by the knowing attention of a seasoned diplomat and psychologist. This effort advances the kind of history Tolstoy urged be written--a narration of on-the-scene individuals rendered by one herself very much willing to be respectfully among them."--Robert Coles, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities and former James Agee Professor of Social Ethics, Harvard University
"I met Swanee Hunt as a diplomat in Vienna. I worked beside her as an activist in the Balkans. Now I know her as a writer, addressing a world sorely in need of her message of challenge and hope. Her words resonate with the authenticity of an observer and advocate who has devoted not only attention, time, and position, but also soul."--Queen Noor of Jordan, humanitarian activist for world peace and justice and best-selling author of Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
"Swanee Hunt is a diplomat, human rights advocate, and teacher. With This Was Not Our War she shows she is also a gifted listener and writer. In these pages, Hunt captures the rationales and rationalizations for war as well as the despair and stirring dignity of twenty-six women who lived through the Bosnian horrors. Hunt lets the women speak for themselves, telling the story of Bosnia's descent and recovery their way, and, in so doing, she shows just how vital their voices, insights, and talents will be in rebuilding Bosnia and its shattered lives."--Samantha Power, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Problem from Hell" America and the Age of Genocide
"An important and well-written book that is a 'must read' for anyone interested in the Balkans, anthropology of conflict, and international affairs."--Aleksandra Sasha Milicevic "International Feminist Journal of Politics "
"With lessons for virtually all societies struggling with civil strife or tensions arising of unsettled histories of violence and injury, the women, mediated by Swanee Hunt's perceptive and empathetic ear, tell us that reconciliation will require three things: telling the truth, imposing justice, and remembering that the perpetrators are human."--Franke Wilmer "Peace & Change "
"This Was Not Our War is replete with quotes from scores of Yugoslavian women-Christians, Muslims, Jews-and is a fine example of oral history. It is pertinent and ought to be acquired by all libraries of schools teaching twentieth century history, women's studies, religious studies, or multiculturalism."--Edward Grosek "Catholic Library World "
"Hunt, who was President Clinton's ambassador to Austria, has put together interviews with 26 Bosnian women. They come from different backgrounds but share an emotional strength and a generosity of spirit, a dignity and humanity, that together make the case for a greater role for women in the politics of their societies-and make the rest of the world's hesitancy to intervene to defend human rights in Bosnia very had to justify."--Stanley Hoffmann "Foreign Affairs "
"The women whose stories are included in the book represent a wide cross-section of Bosnian society. . . . Their bold, painful and sometimes appalling stories are accompanied by strikingly mournful photographs. . . . This Was Not Our War is not solely a book about the war. It's also a book about dignity, the human spirit, generosity, courage, and even about love."--Eetta Prince Gibson "Jerusalem Post "
"Women speak wrenchingly and courageously about the fight to save their homes and protect their children; the decision to stay or flee; the attempt to preserve their own bodies and souls; and the ongoing challenge to rebuild their lives and society. . . . Hunt succeeds in capturing, organizing and analyzing the complexities inherent in conversations with 26 very different people during and after an abhorrent war. . . . Readers will be inspired by [these women's] courage. . . ."--Publishers Weekly
"Hunt brilliantly and insightfully succeeds in relating the voices of the women whom she calls her friends and who, in turn, become familiar to the reader through the sharing of their own personal experiences."--Stephanie Anne-Gaelle Vieille "Millennium "