Sarajevo, 1914. On a June morning, nineteen-year-old Gavrilo Princip drew a pistol from his pocket and fired the first shot of the First World War, killing the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Princip then launched a series of events that would transform the world forever.
Retracing Princip’s steps from the feudal frontier village of his birth to the city of Belgrade and ultimately Sarajevo, journalist and bestselling author Tim Butcher discovers details about the young assassin that have eluded historians for a century. Drawing on his own experiences in the Balkans covering the Bosnian War in the 1990s, Butcher also unravels the complexities and conflicts of this part of the world, showing how the events of that day in 1914 still have influence today.
“Devastating yet strangely exhilarating.” —Publishers Weekly
“Evocative and moving . . . [Butcher] reveals an intelligent and determined South Slav patriot who gave his life for the cause.” —Saul David, author of Military Blunders
“Well-researched history . . . indelible personal recollections of the Bosnian war . . . piquant vignettes of traversing rural Bosnia on foot . . . Consistently appetizing and highly controversial.” —Dervla Murphy, author of Full Tilt
“A great book . . . to be recommended to professional and amateur historians alike.” —General Sir David Richards, former chief of the British Defense Staff
When Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to Africa in 2000,. he quickly became obsessed with the Congo River and the idea of recreating H. M. Stanley’s nineteenth-century journey along the nearly three-thousand-mile waterway. Despite repeated warnings that his plan was suicidal, Butcher set out for the Congo’s eastern border with just a backpack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots.
Making his way in an assortment of vehicles, including a motorbike and a dugout canoe, helped along by a cast of characters from UN aid workers to a pygmy rights advocate, he follows in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurer. Butcher’s forty-four-day journey along the Congo River is an unforgettable story of exploration, survival, and history come to life.
“Quite superb . . . a masterpiece.” —John le Carré, #1 New York Times–bestselling author
“Do NOT try to repeat Tim Butcher’s audacious and terrifying Congo journey. If you do, you will probably die.” —The Guardian
“[Blood River] keeps the heart beating and the attention fixed from beginning to end.”—Fergal Keane, international bestselling author of Wounds
“It is the wit and passion of the writing that keeps you engrossed.”—Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland
Because I am a girl I am more likely to suffer from malnutrition
Because I am a girl I am more likely to suffer violence in the home
Because I am a girl I am more likely to marry and start a family before I reach my twenties.
Seven authors have visited seven different countries and spoken to young women and girls about their lives, struggles and hopes. The result is an extraordinary collection of writings about prejudice, abuse, and neglect, but also about courage, resilience and changing attitudes.
Proceeds from sales of this book will go to PLAN, one of the world's largest child-centered community development organisations.