Beyond the Mountains of the Damned: The War Inside Kosovo

In This Review

Beyond the Mountains of the Damned: The War Inside Kosovo

By Matthew Mcallester
New York University Press, 2002
225 pp. $24.95

The words repeated so often in one after another Balkan tragedy have lost their meaning. "National hatreds," "ethnic cleansing," "paramilitary brutality," and "genocide" become too easily a remote, abstract, antiseptic idiom. The television screens may have brought into our homes the images of hundreds of thousands of Kosovar refugees crammed into muddy, tented camps, but that too ends up only a numbing living metaphor of suffering. Because cameras and reporters were not allowed in, the outside world never knew what was really happening in Kosovo during the 1999 war. McAllester, a young Newsday correspondent, fills that void with vivid, human, heart-rending detail, some of it gathered on dangerous treks into Kosovo from Montenegro, much of it from carefully reconstructed second-hand accounts. He writes well and with compassion -- if perhaps a little too much compassion for the Kosovo Liberation Army, whose actions were not always much better than those of the Serb paramilitaries and police.

Enjoy more high quality articles like this one.

Become a Subscriber

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles posted daily online and almost a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now

More Reviews on Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics From This Issue

Browse All Capsule Reviews

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.