One Morning In Sarajevo  – 28 June 1914

(First published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2008)

Book cover for One Morning In Sarajevo by David James Smith

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This is the true history of the young men who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and shaped the twentieth century. In an exciting new work of non-fiction that is every bit as thrilling as The Day Of The Jackal, David James Smith brilliantly re-investigates the plot that changed the world.

One Morning In Sarajevo reconstructs the last days of the imperial powers on the brink of the great war. Here is the story of the poor Bosnian students who set out to strike a blow for Serbia and inadvertently started that war. Smith has returned to the original sources and found the few surviving witnesses to those far-off times. Gavrilo Princip fired the shots but he was not the lone gunman that most people remember. David James Smith rediscovers Princip and his fellow plotters and gives them back their place in history, vividly evoking their lives and the dramatic events that enveloped them.

Young Princip comes to the Vlajnic pastry shop on a side street in Sarajevo in the early morning of 28 June 1914. While his co-conspirators order coffee and cakes and flirt with the waitress, Princip readies the gun and the bomb in his waistband and prepares to avenge Serbia. Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian empire will soon be called to accunt for five hundreds years of Serbian oppression…


Latest News

  • The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
    Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.

  • Young Mandela the movie – in development.

    From The Guardian
    Read the article

    In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011

    More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.

Latest Review

    New York Times – J. M. Ledgard
  • Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review

See David James Smith…

Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
BBC 1, 10.35
Thursday, April 21st, 2011