Lorenzo Buj


    IN NOVEMBER 1991, some five months after Slovenia and Croatia had declared independence from Yugoslavia and touched off a “civil war,” a relation of mine called from the besieged Adriatic town of Zadar. As we talked I could hear gunfire and the thud of distant shelling. “Tell your friends this is not Kuwait,” he said. “This is a war of vampires and cutthroats.”

    Tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed in the laser show over Baghdad and the chalkboard war in and around Kuwait, but in Croatia death is a more intimate affair. In Zadar, neighbors who had been at relative peace just a short time ago

  • Lenin in Canada

    BACK IN AUGUST, FOLLOWING the slapdash coup against Gorbachev, statues of Lenin toppled all over what was then the Soviet Union, only to pop up again in the Western media or in the hands of private collectors across the “free world.” Even as the media turned the tottering Bolshevik into an all-purpose stage prop for a political theater that had suddenly, briefly, gone all-out populist, a Japanese investor was said to be arranging for the resurrection of fallen monuments in a Lenin theme park in Tokyo.

    It was high summer, winter breadlines were a long way off, and the Soviet ancien régime had been