Michael Dobbs is a prize-winning foreign correspondent and author. Currently serving as a Goldfarb fellow at the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Dobbs is following legal proceedings in The Hague. He has traveled to Srebrenica, Sarajevo and Belgrade, interviewed Mladic’s victims and associates, and is posting documents, video recordings, and intercepted phone calls that shed light on Mladic’s personality. These materials are posted on the Museum’s website at www.ushmm.org/mladic-files, and, in partnership with Foreign Policy, Dobbs blogs regularly about his experiences on these pages. The views expressed in the blog are his own.
Born in the United Kingdom but now a U.S. citizen, Dobbs spent much of his journalistic career covering the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He also covered U.S. foreign policy under the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, reporting on the Dayton peace negotiations that ended the war in the former Yugoslavia as well as the run-up to the war in Iraq.
As a reporter for the Washington Post for over three decades, Dobbs witnessed political upheavals and wars in Yugoslavia, Poland, China and the Soviet Union, and also covered a string of natural disasters, ranging from earthquakes to a tsunami. He was the first Western reporter to get inside the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, in August 1980 at the start of the protests that led to the creation of the independent Solidarity trade union. He was in Tiananmen Square in Beijing when the Chinese communist authorities declared martial law in 1989, and was standing in front of Boris Yeltsin when he climbed on top of a tank outside the Russian parliament building in August 1991, to face down an attempted coup by Soviet hardliners. In December 2004, he was swimming off the southern coast of Sri Lanka when a monster tsunami struck, killing more than 100,000 people across Asia.
Dobbs wrote his first book after returning from Russia in 1993 after a five-year stint as Moscow bureau chief of the Washington Post. He combed through previously secret archival records and interviewed hundreds of eyewitnesses to write Down with Big Brother: The Fall of the Soviet Empire (Knopf, 1996) a runner-up for the 1997 PEN award for non-fiction. His next books were Madeleine Albright: A Twentieth Century Odyssey (Henry Holt, 1999) and Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America (Knopf, 2004). His book on the Cuba missile crisis, One Minute to Midnight, (Knopf, 2008) was a New York Times best-seller and finalist for the Los Angeles Times history prize. He recently completed a book on the origins of the Cold War, to be published in 2012.
Research assistance for the Mladic project has been provided by Sarah Collman, who has been working with the Committee on Conscience at the United States Memorial Museum as an intern since September 2011. Sarah has retrieved, analyzed, and organized primary documents used as evidence and helped to build a detailed chronology of events. She has also been involved in developing and maintaining the website.
Sarah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science and Genocide and Conflict Studies. She studied genocide and international human rights law in Rwanda and the Hague. She has visited many of the UN war crimes tribunals covering atrocities in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Cambodia, as well as the International Criminal Court. Sarah also studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa where she focused on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and post-apartheid politics.