“Powerful… definitive… Rohde tells the Srebrenica story with all the shades of gray the truth demanded.” —The Washington Post
In 1996, at the height of the Bosnian wars, a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor named David Rohde uncovered a horrifying story that became an enduring symbol of the genocidal nature of that conflict, earning him his first Pulitzer Prize. Endgame is the full-length narrative of the nightmare he stumbled upon in the town of Srebrenica, where a massacre of historic proportions has been allowed to happen due to the negligence of the United States, NATO, and the United Nations. Told through the eyes of the soldiers, peacekeepers, and civilians who were there, this is a vital, unforgettable work of history about an atrocity that could have been prevented.
Rohde, now a reporter for the New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 (at age 28) for his stories in the Christian Science Monitor on the war in Bosnia that exposed the massacre of more than 7000 Muslims after the fall of Srebrenica. He found the mass graves and witnesses who could attest to the active role of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic in the slaughter. This book is a more detailed, even more horrifying examination of that atrocity. Employing a less flamboyant version of the eyewitness technique popularized in such books as The Longest Day, Rohde followed seven people step-by-step, day-by-day over 10 days in July 1995: three Muslim villagers from Srebrenica, who saw their neighbors systematically killed; two men who fought with the Bosnian Serbs and took part in the killing; and two Dutch U.N. peacekeepers who found themselves helpless to do anything about it. The power of this book--which matches that of Schindler's List--comes from the cool, almost mundane way in which the author recounts how one thing happened after another until a village was wiped into oblivion. Rohde also steps away from his eyewitnesses on the killing ground to follow the bureaucratic dithering of U.N. officials, who could have called in air strikes to save the village. "The fall of Srebrenica did not have to happen," he concludes in a pointed epilogue, but it did happen because the West chose to be powerless and because a leader on the spot--General Mladic--was more than eager to fan ethnic animosity. It is hard to imagine how this ugly story could be better told.