29 Sept 2023


 And now for a book that bit different from my usual different, today I'm delighted to be sharing my thoughts on ...


Everyday War provides an accessible lens through which to understand what non-combatant civilians go through in a country at war. What goes through the mind of a mother who must send her child to school across a mined field? In Ukraine, such questions have been part of the daily calculus of life. Greta Uehling engages with the lives of ordinary people living in and around the armed conflict over Donbas that began in 2014 and shows how conventional understandings of war are incomplete.

In Ukraine, landscapes filled with death and destruction prompted attentiveness to human vulnerabilities and the cultivation of everyday, interpersonal peace. Uehling explores a constellation of social practices where ethics of care were in operation. People were also drawn into the conflict in an everyday form of war that included provisioning fighters with military equipment they purchased themselves, smuggling insulin, and cutting ties to former friends. Each chapter considers a different site where care can produce interpersonal peace or its antipode, everyday war.

Bridging the fields of political geography, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and anthropology, Everyday War considers a different site where peace can be cultivated at an everyday level.

Thoroughly researched and yet not overly scholarly,
the author does a brilliant job in laying bare the impact modern war fare has had on the friendships, the relationships, the marriages of the everyday folk of Dunbas, Ukraine where relations, friends and lovers found themselves on differing political and, yes, even military sides, avoiding those with opposing views, keeping away from fractious conversations.  

Ideal reading for both those seeking knowledge on the political and sociological effects of a war fought not so much on a battle field but rather a residential and industrial area as well as those wishing to understand how war impacts not the soldier, not the politicians but rather the average person caught in the middle of warring factions.

Honing in on the personal and emotional toil of war as it does Everyday War was never going to be an easy read and yet I'm so glad that I did read it as amongst all of the horrors the author also focusing in on the individuals caring for others despite going through untold horrors of their own; people like Svetlana who, despite having friends fighting on both sides of the conflict, sought to create a sanctuary from violence in her home which saw men from opposing military forces sitting across from each other at her kitchen table; people like the members of the the 'Black Tulip', a group of volunteers, non-combatants tasked with crossing enemy lines to retrieve the remains of fallen soldiers left behind by its retreating army.

Greta Uehling teaches for the Program in International and Comparative Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she is affiliated with the Centre for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. 

  Social Media Links ... ~ Follow Great on X {formerly Twitter} @uehlingumihed1

With thanks to Nanda @ Coriolis, Book Publicity, Marketing, Author Branding and Literary Services for supplying me with a paper copy. Agree or disagree with me, all opinions are my own. No financial compensation was asked for nor given. Threats of violence towards my favourite teddy bear went unheeded as did promises of chocolate.

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Kelly said...

This sounds interesting, Felicity. I interact with another blogger who has read quite a few books on the topic. She's Romanian, so she views it all from a different perspective than someone like me.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Sounds like something I would like

nightwingsraven said...

This sounds like a very thought-provoking
and gripping book. And I think that by
focusing on the impact of the war on the
relationships and lives of everyday Ukrainian
citizens.The author strikes a very deep and
resonant chord.
I will definitely keep this book in mind. And
as always, thank you for your excellent review.

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

This sounds quite interesting! I usually go for more historic books, but this one is very tempting.