'Life and Death in the Balkans' is the family story of Bato Tomasevic. He was born in Montenegro and he tells the story of the region through the eyes of his family.
It starts from the wars of liberation against the Turks and the occupation of Montenegro by the Austrians in World War One. Between the wars his father was a police officer and spent some time in Kossova before returning to Cetinje.
He takes up his own story during the Second World War when Cetinje was occupied by the Italians and then the Germans. His sister Stana was a communist and he joined the Partisans at age 13. He fought the Chetniks and nearly died during the vicious fighting.
After the war he studied law at Belgrade, became a diplomat and married his English wife. He survived the Munich air crash that took the lives of several Manchester United players. Later he looked after foreign visitors including Denis Healy and Hugh Gaitskell. He ran a short lived TV station before it was consumed by the conflagration of the Balkan wars of the 1990's.
This is not just a remarkable story of the author's own life. It gives a real insight into how the turbulent events of Balkans in the last century impacted on his family. Highly recommended.