Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"In Harm's Way" by Martin Bell [1]

So, on to another book review. This one, subtitled "Reflections of a War-Zone Thug", is an account of BBC reporter Martin Bell's experiences covering the Bosnian war; as such, it is not a strict history of the war, nor is it an impassioned work of advocacy such as David Rieff's Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West. This is an account of war reporting as much as it is an account of an actual, specific war. Still, Bell was one of the more visible and respected broadcast journalists covering Bosnia, so his interpretation of events will be of some interest to anyone wishing to understand how the Western media filtered events for consumption back home.

It should be noted that Bell, whatever else I will say about him, was obviously moved and deeply affected by what he saw in Bosnia. The Prologue explains that this is "my first and probably my only book." He needed to write about his experiences in Bosnia, a need he had never felt or at least never pursued before. He freely admits that this book may be difficult to catalog, noting with amusement that booksellers "didn't know whether to classify In Harm's Way as Biography, Politics, Military, or Journalism. One of them even tried Travel."

We will see if his views on Bosnia are easier to categorize.

1 comment:

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

I am glad you're analyzing Martin Bell's account of war in Bosnia and I am excited for your next post. Please keep them coming.