A penetrating argument that the heady mix of religion and modern nationalism are at the heart of the Bosnian catastrophe. Sells is a professor of religion (Haverford Coll.) of Serbian descent. Here he joins these personal and professional interests, although he sides not with the Serbs but with the Bosnian Muslims. His book is both a condemnation of anti-Muslim religious stereotyping by Serbs and Croats, and an impassioned argument that the genocide in Bosnia is ``grounded in religious symbols.'' He is forthright in his accusations, charging that Western policymakers failed by denying Bosnia the right to self-defense and by neglecting their ``moral and legal duty'' to uphold the Geneva Convention's call for action against genocide. Sells is determined to debunk the popular misconception of ``ancient Balkan hatreds'' and to replace it with what he perceives to be the driving force of the war: explicitly modern, anti-Muslim religious and nationalist mythologies in which Muslims are represented as Christ killers and in which the Bosnians who long ago converted to Islam are seen as race traitors (because all Slavs, supposedly, should be Christian). However, while religion explains much in the former Yugoslavia, it does not explain all. Political, economic, historical, and social factors, though they're often overemphasized, have their place in an examination of Yugoslavia's collapse. Moreover, the war in Bosnia cannot be isolated from the larger conflict in the former Yugoslavia. And while Sells convincingly exposes the slander, falsehoods, and misinformation about Muslims that Serbs and Croats accept as true, he sheds no light on how and why they came to believe in these myths. Still, Sells's well-written, impassioned, and informed book represents a deepening of the ongoing discourse about the collapse of Yugoslavia.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-520-20690-8

Page Count: 222

Publisher: Univ. of California

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.


An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?


The name of C.S. Lewis will no doubt attract many readers to this volume, for he has won a splendid reputation by his brilliant writing. These sermons, however, are so abstruse, so involved and so dull that few of those who pick up the volume will finish it. There is none of the satire of the Screw Tape Letters, none of the practicality of some of his later radio addresses, none of the directness of some of his earlier theological books.

Pub Date: June 15, 1949

ISBN: 0060653205

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1949

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet