Award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni spent much of the 1990s observing the cycles of violence and vengeance from inside Balkan cities and villages, refugee camps and makeshift hospitals. This was a conflict that raised challenging questions: what causes neighbours, whose families have lived peacefully for centuries, to turn with mindless brutality against one another? How do we measure the difference between bravery and cowardice in a conflict so morally ill-defined? What becomes of survivors when the fabric of an age-old community is destroyed? Searching for answers, di Giovanni brings the reality of war into focus: children dying from lack of medicine, women driven to despair and madness by their experiences in paramilitary rape camps and soldiers numbed by and inured to the atrocities they committed. In Madness Visible she paints an indelible portrait of the Balkans under siege and shows the true – human – cost of war.
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