Guilt, Responsibility, and Denial: The Past at Stake in Post-Milosevic Serbia

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Guilt, Responsibility, and Denial: The Past at Stake in Post-Milosevic Serbia
By Eric Gordy
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013
272 pp. $65.00
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For all the attention paid to the carnage of the Yugoslav wars and the trials of those responsible for the violence, scholars have only just begun to assess the legacies of those leaders and their impact on their successors and the societies they left behind. Gordy zeroes in on how Serbs have (or have not) come to terms with the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by their leaders and prosecuted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Judging the Serbian public mind is not easy. Gordy, by going beyond merely examining the legal dramas and public opinion polls, discovered that most Serbs see the issues of guilt and responsibility in wavering shades, not stark colors. The Serbian people, he concludes, have come a good distance. But denialism lingers, for which he assigns considerable blame to the non-Serbian prosecutors at the tribunal, who have failed to clearly convey to the Serbs the full, convincing weight of the evidence against their former leaders. Gordy delivers his judgment of all the parties with sensitivity and compassion.

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