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Part memoir and part reckoning, this is a startling examination of the legacy of the Bosnian war published on the twentieth anniversary of the outbreak of the war.

The year 2012 marks the twentieth anniversary of the onset of the worst carnage to blight Europe since the reign of the Third Reich – the Bosnian War. A hurricane of violence was unleashed by Serbian President Slobodan Miloševic and his allies, the Bosnian Serbs, in pursuit of a 'Greater Serbia'.

Miloševic and his ally Radovan Karadžic required the annihilation of all Bosniaks, Croats and other peoples though either death or enforced deportation and of any trace of their existence destroyed. The campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' was infamous: an orgy of mass murder, the destruction of entire towns and villages, the deportation of some two million people, mass rape, the massacre at Srebrenica – all of it presided over and tolerated by the so-called 'International Community' – and, perhaps most vividly in the popular memory, concentration and death camps in our lifetime.

It was Vulliamy's accursed honour to reveal these camps to the world in August 1992, when he penetrated two of them, Omarska and Trnopolje. The War is Dead, Long Live the War charts this discovery, but it is much more than a memoir: Vulliamy passionately bears witness to the Bosnian war's aftermath, the reckoning and lack of it, to reveal the human consequences as well as the trials and traumas of exile or homecoming. It is only now, through the eyes and memories of the survivors and the bereaved – and, in different ways, the perpetrators – that we can really understand the bloody catastrophe in Bosnia.

The world moves on over twenty years. Within that amount of time after the liberation of Dachau by the British army in 1945, the Beatles were playing in Hamburg. But in Bosnia, there has been no thaw in the hatred; no reckoning. The war may be over, but the war lives on.


The camps and their corrosive legacy are Vulliamy's subject in this searing book, in which he writes with controlled and righteous anger about the absence of any "reckoning"

Daily Telegraph

Impassioned ... riveting and chilling

Financial Times


Sunday Times

A beautifully written and deeply heartfelt study in survival

Sunday Business Post

A stark and brilliant testimony about a massive human atrocity

Sunday Business Post

Brilliant account

Katie Owen, Sunday Telegraph

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    April 15, 2013


    400 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    April 5, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    400 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • Google Play
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Ed Vulliamy



Six Minutes in May
The Art of War: Popular Penguins
The Better Angels Of Our Nature
The Diary Of A Young Girl
Behind The Lines
Alter Egos
1914: The Year the World Ended
Shanghai Fury
Fire Strike 7/9
The Wolf
The Crimean War
Sleeps Standing
Hanns and Rudolf
Mullahs Without Mercy
A Very British Killing
A War of Choice: Honour, Hubris and Sacrifice
An Unwinnable War
The First World War
I Refuse To Die