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The Key to My Neighbor's House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwandaby Elizabeth Neuffer
Synopses & Reviews
Examining competing notions of justice in Bosnia and Rwanda, award-winning Boston Globe correspondent Elizabeth Neuffer convinces readers that crimes against humanity cannot be resolved by talk of forgiveness, or through the more common recourse to forgetfulness
As genocidal warfare engulfed the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the international community acted too late to prevent unconscionable violations of human rights in both countries. As these states now attempt to reconstruct their national identities, the surviving victims of genocide struggle to come to terms with a world unhinged.
Interviewing victims and aggressors, war orphans and war criminals, Serbian militiamen and NATO commanders, Neuffer explores the extent to which genocide erodes a nations social and political environment, just as it destroys the individual lives of the aggressors perceived enemies. She argues persuasively that only by achieving justice for these people can domestic and international organizations hope to achieve lasting peace in regions destroyed by fratricidal warfare.
"[B]ecause she takes nothing for granted, and is so thorough a narrator, [Neuffer's] study is likely to have a long shelf life and be useful to readers for many years....A tremendously valuable comparative study, with all its shameful conclusions in place." Kirkus Reviews
"No reporter has come close to matching Elizabeth Neuffer's stories of genocidal killers and rapists, their victims, and the fledgling effort to see international justice prevail." Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio correspondent and author of Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege
"Elizabeth Neuffer has taken on a subject of monumental importance. Her book is filled with the poignant personal stories of ordinary people who suffered extraordinary crimes on our watch at the end of the twentieth century. Their heroic efforts to confront their tormentors and search for justice should prick our collective conscience." Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent, CNN
"As the story moves from the mass grave to the courtroom, the reader is left not with drama, but, almost incredibly, a certain feeling of triumph. Superbly researched and written." Roy Gutman, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for Newsday
"It's a terrible thing to want justice. Very few besides the victims think it is necessary or cost effective....[Neuffer's] book will convince you that we're doomed if we don't seek justice." Leslie Gelb, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and former editorial page editor of The New York Times
"By recounting the individual stories of tribunal participants, Elizabeth Neuffer ensures that we do not forget the victims at the heart of these tribunals, and illustrates how the tribunal process itself can bring important healing to individuals." Senator Christopher J. Todd, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
From her unique vantage as a reporter directly covering the reality of genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, award-winning journalist Neuffer tells the compelling story of two parallel journeys toward justice in each country. 5 maps.
Interviewing war criminals and their victims,Neuffer explains,through the voices of people she follows over the course of a decade,how genocide erodes a nation's social and political environment.Her characters' stories and their competing notions of justice-from searching for the bodies of loved ones,to demanding war crime trials,to seeking bloody revenge-convinces readers that crimes against humanity cannot be resolved by simple talk of forgiveness,or through the more common recourse to forgetfulness.
About the Author
Elizabeth Neuffer is an award-winning reporter for The Boston Globe. While serving as the paper's European Bureau Chief, she won the the Courage In Journalism Award and was then named an Edward R. Murrow Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. She lives in New York City.
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