Then They Started Shooting: Growing Up in Wartime Bosnia

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Then They Started Shooting: Growing Up in Wartime Bosnia

by Lynne F. Jones
Harvard University Press, 2004
352 pp. $27.95
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Out of the horror of human cruelty in the Bosnian war comes a bright note. Jones, a child psychiatrist, studied a cluster of adolescents from two Bosnian towns-one largely Muslim, the other Serb-to see how deep and psychologically damaging the trauma of war had been. In 1996 and 1997, she socialized with and interviewed at length about 40 children in Gorazde and Foca and then returned in 2002 to follow up. The book begins with excruciating accounts of what these children saw and suffered, then turns to the way, as adolescents, they understood these events, and concludes with an assessment of the lasting effects. The bright note is that the overwhelming majority of these young people, now in their teens, were "well"-that is, without noticeable psychological pathologies. The sadder note is that most had formed attitudes toward society, politics, and, in particular, the other ethnic group that were fostered by the first war and will be fuel if there is another.