Origins of a Catastrophe:: Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers- -America's Last Ambassador Tells What Happened an D Why

Warren Zimmermann, Author Crown Publishers $25 (269p) ISBN 978-0-8129-6399-1
Zimmerman, U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia from 1989 to 1992, here offers an authoritative diplomatic history and firsthand report of events leading up to the conflagration that destroyed that east European state; literate and engrossing, it jibes pretty much with the record as we know it. Making short shrift of such arguments as that the country was a tragedy waiting to happen and that it was impossible for its diverse ethnic groups to live together, the ambassador lays the blame for the ""catastrophe"" squarely on the various republican leaders whose selfish interests overrode the goal of maintaining national unity. He leaves no doubt that the architect of the genocidal war that followed upon the breakup of the state was Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic. One of the most intriguing parts of the book is the author's reports of his meetings with Yugoslav politicians who played roles in their nation's demise, including Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Ante Markovic, the last prime minister of Yugoslavia. From the vantage of hindsight, Zimmerman expresses regret that he didn't recommend the use of force by the U.S. and its allies to stop Serbian aggression as early as 1991. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-8129-3303-1
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