The Cellist of Sarajevo Questions and Answers
by Steven Galloway

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What is the main idea of Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo?

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There are a number of themes that can be identified in Steven Galloway's 2008 novel The Cellist of Sarajevo. The fragility of civilization, the ease with which society can be torn apart by the political machinations of the most morally abhorrent of people, as was the case with the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. On this point, Galloway himself stated the following with respect to his novel's relevance and the two main themes he presented:

"One is to understand what happens to the world and us as individuals when we abdicate responsibility for who we hate."

The conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina was the direct result of the cynical manipulation of popular sentiments by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, Bosnian Serbian leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, and Croatian leader...

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