A Biography
Robert J. Donia
Sheds new light on Sarajevo as a cosmopolitan gem deserving of a central role in the world's cultural, social, and political history


Sarajevo: A Biography is a work of erudition and compassion, nimbly capturing the spirit of one of the world's great cities as it survives one epoch, one political regime, one religious dynasty after another. Through the stories of individual Sarajevans—leaders and common folk alike—Donia illustrates his beloved city's significance as a site of great civilizational exchange, of political intrigue, cultural efflorescence, human tragedy and eternal hope.

Robert Donia is a Research Associate at the University of Michigan's Center for Russian and East European Studies, a Visiting Scholar in history at the University of California at San Diego, and holds a courtesy appointment as Associate Professor of History at the University of Sarajevo. He is the author of Islam under the Double Eagle: The Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1878-1914, and co-author with John V.A. Fine of Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Tradition Betrayed. He has served as an expert witness in seven war crimes trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague.

Praise / Awards

  • "This is not just a biography, but a labor of love that is evident throughout this engaging and erudite account. After a decades-long relationship, nobody knows more about Sarajevo's storied past, its rich legacy of multiethnic coexistence, and the challenges that have been imposed upon it by the alien forces of ethnic nationalism."
    —Charles Ingrao, Professor of History, Purdue University

  • "Sarajevo: A Biography spares no detail in Sarajevo's history, up to and including the aftermath of the 1992-5 siege and the citizens' efforts to rebuild and preserve a valued way of life. Highly recommended especially for world history and library reference shelves."
    Midwest Book Review

  • "First published in English by the respected publisher C. Hurst and Co. (Publishers) Ltd. (London), Robert J. Donia's Sarajevo: A Biography is an exceptionally significant work, the result of years of the author's research, archival exploration and scholarly interest in Sarajevo and its history. A work of comprehensive scholarship, it is also profoundly personal, and the tale of the city's history unwinds like a novel. As a biography of the city in the true sense of the word, it is an extraordinary achievement. The author's innovative approach treats Sarajevo from a wholly different perspective, not only as the setting for historical events but as a primary hero in a biography."
    —The Association of Publishers and Booksellers of Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • "Sarajevo: A Biography will serve as a lucid introduction for students and non-specialists to the history of the city as well as to that of Bosnia itself. Regional specialists will also benefit from Donia’s new research and insights into the Bosnian capital's political and cultural life."
    Slavonic and Eastern European Review

  • Winner of the Association of Publishers and Booksellers of Bosnia-Herzegovina "Best Publishers' Achievement" of the year

Product Details

  • 6.0 x 9.0.
  • 478pp.
  • 34 B&W photographs, wtih 17 ganged color and 10 maps.
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Sales Restrictions

Our edition is available in Puerto Rico, United States, Virgin Islands (U.S.)


  • Hardcover
  • 2006
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11557-0

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  • $45.00 U.S.


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