Ms. di Giovanni harshly criticized Stern for noting some of the not-unattractive human qualities that likely enabled Mr. Karadzic to inspire such malign behavior by otherwise normal people. Yet this is precisely what makes Ms. Stern’s analysis so valuable — the acknowledgment that even monsters such as Mr. Karadzic and Hitler are, in the end, mere humans. Avoiding the easy path of simply condemning, she struggles to understand how such humanity can coexist with such evil.
As someone who worked on the Balkans during my government career, I found Ms. Stern’s book one of the most riveting and insightful assessments I’ve ever read on that horrible chapter of the 20th century.
John McLaughlin, Washington
The writer is a former deputy director and acting director of the CIA.