Cover image for Be not afraid, for you have sons in America : how a Brooklyn roofer helped lure the U.S. into the Kosovo War
Be not afraid, for you have sons in America : how a Brooklyn roofer helped lure the U.S. into the Kosovo War
Sullivan, Stacy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2004.
Physical Description:
xix, 330 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F128.9.A3 S85 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Florin Krasniqi immigrated to the United States from Kosovo in 1988 by sneaking across the Mexican border in the trunk of a white Cadillac. Once in America, he started his own business, fell in love, married, and bought a house. But he did not forget the country he left behind. In 1996, when one of his cousins helped start the Kosovo Liberation Army in the hope of securing Kosovo's independence, Florin chipped in to help.

Over the next two years, Florin helped direct a network of Albanian émigrés across the U.S., raising millions of dollars for the rebel force. Soon he began visiting gun shows across America and running weapons and other supplies to the rebels. All the while he was also lobbying some of Washington's most powerful politicians. Eventually he helped recruit American volunteers, some of whom left schools and colleges in the New York area to fight for a homeland they hardly knew.

Be Not Afraid, For You Have Sons in America tells the remarkable story of how a small group of young men in Kosovo backed by a network of émigrés in the United States started a guerrilla army that lured the world's most powerful military alliance into fighting their war and changed the course of history in the Balkans forever.

Author Notes

Stacy Sullivan is a senior editor at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. She covered the Balkans for Newsweek magazine. Her articles have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Washington Post, Men's Journal, and other publications. She has been interviewed as an authority on the Kosovo conflict by NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, Fox News, and many other national programs. She began interviewing Albanian Americans when she was a graduate student at Columbia University, and has worked in Belgrade, Prishtina, Sarajevo, Tirana, and other major cities in the Balkans. She resides in New York City

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Kosovo Liberation Army was sparked and sustained by a roof contractor in Brooklyn who personally bought and shipped arms, massively fund-raised and provided ideological and tactical support to the fledgling guerrilla force. Sullivan, who covered the Balkans in the '90s for Newsweek, mixes reportage (sometimes reconstructed) of the insurgent group's battles with Milosevic's Serb forces after Yugoslavia's disintegration with the KLA's improbable U.S.-based, backstory, gleaned after the conflict was messily resolved by a U.N.-led coalition (commanded by Wesley Clark). She is terrific in detailing the life of Florin Krasniqi, a Kosovar Albanian who emigrated illegally to the U.S. via Mexico in 1988, and took it upon himself to get the KLA off the ground once Milosevic's intentions (and the inefficacy of nonviolent resistance) became clear to him. Anecdotes of buying assault weapons at gun shows and taking them to Albania on conventional flights, of shopping for Stinger missiles in Pakistan and of the Muslim Krasniqi getting a great price on uniforms from Brooklyn Hasidim are as funny as they are unsettling. Snappily written with a keen eye for telling personal tics and crushing political ironies, Sullivan's book reveals that this crucial, underreported event of the late '90s was more multilateral than anyone imagined. Agent, Esmond Harmsworth. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Guide to Language and Pronunciationp. xv
Major Charactersp. xvii
Partial Krasniqi Male Lineagep. xx
Map of Kosovop. xxi
Introductionp. 1
Book 1 Pacifist Resistance
1 Brave New Worldp. 11
2 Brotherhood and Unityp. 16
3 The Truth Hurtsp. 33
4 A Man for All Serbsp. 40
5 Crisis in the Homelandp. 49
6 The Lonely Strugglep. 56
7 A Desperate Generationp. 68
Book 2 Guerrilla Warfare
8 A Time to Fightp. 83
9 Guerrillas in the Makingp. 99
10 Building an Armyp. 108
11 Growing Painsp. 119
12 A Martyr Is Bornp. 137
13 Guerrilla Insurgencyp. 149
14 An Army Is Bornp. 165
15 So This Is Warp. 181
Book 3 War
16 War, Round IIp. 195
17 Regroupingp. 211
18 Operation Horseshoep. 230
19 The Atlantic Brigadep. 245
20 The New Frontp. 261
21 Liberation Dayp. 277
22 After the Warp. 294
Epiloguep. 305
Notesp. 317
Select Bibliographyp. 321
Indexp. 323