I’ve wondered why some authors carry on about all the people who helped them with their books. Until now. Far beyond the twenty-seven of us who speak directly in this book, this work has been a team effort.
It was an honor to work in partnership with Tarik Samarah, who is not only a friend but also a brilliant photographer, able to capture on film the mix of beauty, strength, whimsy, sadness, and hope of the speakers in this book.
In the text preparation, I was especially aided by Ariane Bradley and Maria Carroll, two bright young women who contributed to almost every aspect of this book. Their help across the years ranged from broad suggestions to minute editing, conducting follow-up interviews, and coordinating a diverse research team. More thanks also to Guy Edmunds, Kessely Hong, and Michael Szporluk, intelligent and idealistic Harvard graduate students, who could be bribed with pizza and margaritas to read through the original transcriptions and pull out themes that grabbed their attention, helping me create an outline from the women’s narratives. Michael Sullivan contributed excellent research on gender questions. Rina Amiri was always a source of research help and inspiration. Birgit Radl helped with German to English research and translations.
Chris Vaudo, Kathy Jankiewicz, Gina Feuerlicht, A. Greeley O’Connor, Jan Smith, Susan Gluss, Nick Beckman, and Carol Edgar joined other friends suffering through tedious editing, poring over the manuscript as intelligent outsiders. Advice on contextual details came from Ivana Vuko, Miki Jacevic, Ivana Krizanic, Branka Peuraca, and Carrie Coberly. Help on the media issues came from Tanya Domi, former press spokesperson for the OSCE in Bosnia.
Similarly, I received help from Cristina Posa, a promising Harvard Law School graduate who later worked at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. The last major tightening and reorganization was recommended by Valerie Millholland, my able editor at Duke University Press. An otherwise daunting chore became tolerable as I watched with awe one spunky Julia Appell, an extraordinarily gifted Harvard undergrad with a ruthless red pen. And Annemarie Brennan was insightful and meticulous in the final review.
Expert advice came from diplomats who have encouraged me over the years: John Kenneth Galbraith, the late Warren Zimmermann, and Miomir Zuzul. Louis Sell, in particular, provided essential advice from his many years in the region and his scholarship on the rise and fall of Milosevic. Help with overall structure and style came from Catherine Bateson, whose own volumes giving voice to groups of women rendered her suggestions extremely helpful; Jane Mansbridge, an authority in gender and great friend to me through the Women and Public Policy Program of the Kennedy School; and Tom Butler, South Slav specialist at Harvard, who, happily for me, couldn’t help but line edit as he read, and reread, for content suggestions.
My Harvard context provided a marvelously stimulating and free environment in which to work. Dean Joseph Nye, no stranger to the conundrums of war and peace, was always encouraging. Victoria Budson, executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program (which I lead), kept that office humming when I secluded myself for weeks at a time to write. War chroniclers Samantha Power, Michael Ignatieff, and the late Elizabeth Neuffer all had grappled with the same tension between describing real horror and respecting the privacy of the horrified. They also understood the trials of publication, and they offered inspiration laced with commiseration.
There were those in the U.S. government whose high position gave me entrée, and whose encouragement emboldened me to stand up to critics who wanted to be sure I didn’t rock their boat. Key among those leaders was President Clinton, who promoted my work on the empowerment of Bosnian women with a spontaneous “I love this stuff!” First Lady Hillary Clinton consistently advocated for my work with women—anywhere, anytime. Both Clintons tolerated my insistent pushing that our U.S. troops should be picking up indicted war criminals. Across The Pond, European Commissioner Emma Bonino, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, and former Italian Foreign Minister Susanna Agnelli were at my side whenever I needed their help in my work with Bosnian women.
I had encouragement from other Washington quarters, particularly Senator Joe Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Similar personal and professional help has come from Senator Ted Kennedy. At the State Department, in addition to Madeleine Albright and Dick Holbrooke, under-secretaries Peter Tarnoff, Dick Moose, and Tim Wirth aided me with advice as well as example. In Bosnia, I was welcomed not only by wartime American ambassadors Jackovich and Menzies but also by diplomats Bob Beecroft, Mike Parmly, Tom Miller, Daniel Serwer, and Jacques Klein, several of whom fed and housed me (as I did them in Vienna). Peter Galbraith, U.S. ambassador to Croatia, sparked my interest in women’s experience of the war, gathering about forty Croatian women for me to meet with in his backyard in April 1994. At the Pentagon, my strongest encouragement came from Joe Kruzel, who lost his life on Mount Igman in the summer of 1995. Among military officers, my work was aided by commanders on the ground, particularly General Bill Nash, but also a string of NATO commanders: John Galvin, George Joulwan, and Wes Clark. Wes has been as relentless in his encouragement of my work as he was driving Milosevic’s army out of Kosovo.
In Vienna, my forays into Bosnia were not only supported by Foreign Minister Alois Mock but also generously covered by competing newspapers run by Bibi Dragon and Oscar Bronner. Herbert Bammer (Austrian Airlines) and Horst Breitenhurst (IBM) were key allies, among many others. Journalist/scholar Cristina von Kohl and Green parliamentarian Mirjana Granditz pushed me constantly to do more for the Balkans. Inside the embassy, those who put their shoulders behind the Bosnia wheel were led by our public affairs officer Helena Finn with her able deputy Karen Czerny, political officers Debbie Cavin and Tim Savage, agriculture liaison Allen Mustard, military attachés John Miller and Dale Holrah, as well as my own front office “air traffic controller,” Susan Ray. My deputy chief of mission, Joan Corbett, kept the embassy moving forward whenever I was off in Bosnia again.
I was also fortunate to have blessedly competent Bosnian colleagues. My Sarajevo-based office was staffed first by Amira Ferand, Nermina Kadic, and Vjeko Saje (Irma’s father). Later, Sunita Samarah took the helm, assisting me with the initial selection of the women, endless logistical arrangements, and, years later, the last bits and pieces of the wrap-up for the Bosnian version of this book. She was an invaluable on-the-ground conduit between me and the twenty-six women. Help also came from Emina Ganic, Fahrija’s daughter, whose fine-tuned language was partly from her Oxford education, her years in the United States and Vienna, her refugee experiences, and her work at the U.S. Embassy and Council of Europe—all before her twenty-third birthday!
For seven years, a spectacular partner helped me mold practice out of passion. In Vienna, I had the good fortune of crossing paths with Valerie Gillen, who went on to work with me extensively throughout the Balkans, where she became a trusted friend to many. Val gave support to the first postwar women’s conference in Sarajevo, assisted survivors from Srebrenica, helped launch the League of Women Voters at Eagle Base outside Tuzla, planned Bosnian women’s political conferences in Washington and Sarajevo, and oversaw our foundation’s office in Sarajevo. Val’s deputy at the time was Sarah Gauger, whose carefulness and wisdom balanced my reckless ways, as she managed the details that made impossible events merely difficult.
But ultimately this book was a family affair. In her last years of life, my mother frequently said how proud she was of what I was doing for the women in Bosnia, a country she could not have located on a map, but which she recognized as part of my inner landscape. My brother’s management of our family company allowed me to be philanthropically involved in the Balkans. My sisters, Helen and June, rooted and prayed for me in my forays. Son Henry gave emotional support from a distance; but my two younger children gave up their mother scores of times as I visited Bosnia over a seven-year period. When I returned from those trips, my children knew I was preoccupied with the stories I’d heard, and at one point they let me know that they were “tired of competing with refugees.” Fair enough. The price they paid during my research years made me all the more gratified when Lillian and Teddy, teenagers as this text was being completed, helped with insightful, if brutal, editing suggestions.
Finally, I don’t know if I could have ever let this book out of my clutches had it not been systematically examined by my resident editor, Charles Ansbacher. He listened to me read it line by line for weeks—in the car, in bed every morning and night, and over the phone when one of us was traveling. We were partners in Bosnia. My research trips were often built around his engagements as the principal guest conductor of the Sarajevo Philharmonic. After a long day—his in the rehearsal room of the National Theater, mine in a hotel room with one interview after another—we’d compare notes over midnight pasta in a bustling Sarajevo cafe. I’d often cry as I relayed a story I’d been told. He’d wonder at his emotional wife, then remember to whisper to me that he was proud. After nineteen years, we’ve developed the sort of partnership Kada describes in a scene with her husband, swimming in the stream and collecting mushrooms in the woods outside Srebrenica. Our relationship has become fluent. I don’t remember exactly. Starting this book was probably his idea. Finishing it definitely was.
February 2004 Cambridge, Massachusetts