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Grief of My Heart: Memoirs of a Chechen Surgeon

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A Booklist Editor's Choice for 2003 In this riveting memoir, Khassan Baiev relates his harrowing experiences as a surgeon in one of the worst war zones of the last decade. When the hospital where Baiev worked in Grozny, the Chechen capital, was destroyed by Russian shelling, he returned to his nearby hometown of Alkhan Kala and restored an abandoned clinic with help from vil A Booklist Editor's Choice for 2003 In this riveting memoir, Khassan Baiev relates his harrowing experiences as a surgeon in one of the worst war zones of the last decade. When the hospital where Baiev worked in Grozny, the Chechen capital, was destroyed by Russian shelling, he returned to his nearby hometown of Alkhan Kala and restored an abandoned clinic with help from villagers. Soon he was the only doctor for tens of thousands of residents and refugees in the surrounding area. During six years of war and intermittent ceasefire, he often worked without gas, electricity, or running water, with only local anesthetics and homemade medical supplies. Although he treated mainly civilians, Baiev upheld the Hippocratic Oath by also caring for Russian soldiers and Chechen fighters alike--a practice that branded him a traitor by both sides. Kidnapped and nearly killed on several occasions, Baiev finally fled Chechnya in 2000 and won political asylum in the United States. An important eyewitness account of the reality of the Chechen-Russian conflict, which has killed 20 percent of the Chechen population, made homeless another 350,000, and seen the deaths of thousands of Russian soldiers. Grief of My Heart is a searing memoir that is certain to become a classic in the literature of war.


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A Booklist Editor's Choice for 2003 In this riveting memoir, Khassan Baiev relates his harrowing experiences as a surgeon in one of the worst war zones of the last decade. When the hospital where Baiev worked in Grozny, the Chechen capital, was destroyed by Russian shelling, he returned to his nearby hometown of Alkhan Kala and restored an abandoned clinic with help from vil A Booklist Editor's Choice for 2003 In this riveting memoir, Khassan Baiev relates his harrowing experiences as a surgeon in one of the worst war zones of the last decade. When the hospital where Baiev worked in Grozny, the Chechen capital, was destroyed by Russian shelling, he returned to his nearby hometown of Alkhan Kala and restored an abandoned clinic with help from villagers. Soon he was the only doctor for tens of thousands of residents and refugees in the surrounding area. During six years of war and intermittent ceasefire, he often worked without gas, electricity, or running water, with only local anesthetics and homemade medical supplies. Although he treated mainly civilians, Baiev upheld the Hippocratic Oath by also caring for Russian soldiers and Chechen fighters alike--a practice that branded him a traitor by both sides. Kidnapped and nearly killed on several occasions, Baiev finally fled Chechnya in 2000 and won political asylum in the United States. An important eyewitness account of the reality of the Chechen-Russian conflict, which has killed 20 percent of the Chechen population, made homeless another 350,000, and seen the deaths of thousands of Russian soldiers. Grief of My Heart is a searing memoir that is certain to become a classic in the literature of war.

30 review for Grief of My Heart: Memoirs of a Chechen Surgeon

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    by far, the best non-fiction book i have ever read. to see so much compassion, selflessness, courage, self-respect, and dignity in one person during our times is not only inspiring but also gives me hope. Baeiv endures the Russian-Chechen wars like a super human being. at times, i didn't want to believe his stories of the cruelty war has brought to innocent civilians and the countless times he was forced to amputate body parts and operate with no instruments in unbelievable, heart-wrenching cond by far, the best non-fiction book i have ever read. to see so much compassion, selflessness, courage, self-respect, and dignity in one person during our times is not only inspiring but also gives me hope. Baeiv endures the Russian-Chechen wars like a super human being. at times, i didn't want to believe his stories of the cruelty war has brought to innocent civilians and the countless times he was forced to amputate body parts and operate with no instruments in unbelievable, heart-wrenching conditions. it would be wrong for me to share more details on this incredible book. read it yourself to witness the story of this Muslim hero and gift to humanity.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yasmine

    Read this after I'd read "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" and wanted a non-fictional account of the war. This was great, riveting, frustrating, heartbreaking stuff. You can't help but root for the guy although at some points he was being a lunatic and putting himself in danger unnecessarily but I suppose war is a crazy time and it makes you do crazy things.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mezaraups

    Read this under the title Oath...very disheartening and heart-rending to read about Chechnya...Khassan worked under very dangerous and difficult circumstances.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Lingley

    I was looking forward to reading this book as I erroneously believed that it was the second memoir by Khassan Baiev. However, it is a re-release of the book: "The Oath. A Surgeon Under Fire." by Khassan Baiev, released in 2003, with a new title.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    One of the most stirring and thought-provoking war memoirs ever written. I recommend reading "Freefall" by Nicolai Lilin as an accompaniment for a fuller understanding of the Chechen wars with Russia.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    So many different points of this book were so painful and heartbreaking to read that I had to put it down and walk away for a few hours, but it is a book that I want everyone to read to see another view point of the world. It will put your world into perspective.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Asma

    I really found this book insightful and inspiring! It's a great read if you're into war stories, esp the medical aspects of war.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Fogerty

    Loved this book and since I know very little about this area of the world and the conflict going on there it was very informative. Will look for more books on the subject.

  9. 5 out of 5

    WeylEE

  10. 5 out of 5

    Meenu

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Varisco

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaakko

  14. 5 out of 5

    Antti Vättö

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelsi Jackson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rayya

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Baker

  18. 5 out of 5

    Abbas Ramzan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maria Mng

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

  21. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dezső Batancs

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karl

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stig Knutsen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris Kelly

  28. 5 out of 5

    Judith Allen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Omar Ahmad

  30. 4 out of 5

    Selema Hamouda

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