McGowan has "a shrewd eye for details and a quick understanding of complexities..... In an era when many outsiders have been taken in by simplistic explanations of right and wrong, Mr. McGowan is anything but naive."
—New York Times Book Review
Notable Books of the Year 1992
"An important book, full of lively reporting and insightful observations. As a study of how politically inflamed ethnic tensions can destroy a nation, it ranks with the best."
"A gripping, first-rate mixture of travelogue, history and hard-edged reporting. ...McGowan's memorable prose captures the noise, passions and violence of a country that seems bent on destroying itself."
—Publishers Weekly * (starred review)
"McGowan is a good listener, a careful reporter and a sensitive observer…"
—The Washington Post Book World
"Mr. McGowan has a gift for literary travel writing in the Graham Greene tradition."
—The Wall Street Journal
An "excellent book".
"McGowan is a deft writer with a keen eye for observation... He provides a fascinating account of the war's tragic, mounting equation."
"A well-told and depressing account… an impressive book. McGowan is a forthright witness who never lets simple moral distinctions blind him."
—The New Statesman
"McGowan’s journalism is exhaustive...This opus is bound to find a place on the list of must-reads on the subject."
—Far Eastern Economic Review