El Juramento/the Oath
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

El Juramento/the Oath

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Told with immediacy and heart, The Oath is the story of a brave physician's dedication to saving lives in the Russia-Chechnya conflict.

In 1991, when the political conflict between Chechen insurgents and the Russian army began, Khassan Baiev was a wealthy plastic surgeon. But when Russia began to bomb his country, Baiev gave up safety and security and opened a small hospita...more
Paperback, 428 pages
Published June 5th 2005 by Inedita (first published October 1st 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 361)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mikey B.
A very telling first-hand account of what has been happening in Chechnya. The author grew up there and speaks his native language as well as Russian. He lived and studied in various parts of the Soviet Union. His life, until the break-up of the Soviet Union was even somewhat privileged; he became an athlete and then a medical doctor.

There were always undertones of discrimination because of his Chechen roots. This all literally exploded with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the break-up...more
Britta
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure I would at first, but it was informative learning about Chechnya and the conflicts going on there in RECENT years and that are still going on. It opened my eyes to what is happening in the world, as sad as it is, and how lucky I am in so many ways. So many people in the world are just trying to live good lives and yet they are bombarded by war and other evils. I think Khassan is one of those good men and I have a lot of admiration and respect for him and...more
Belle Blackburn
An engaging and important true story of a surgeon operating under the worst of conditions in war torn Chechnya. War is always hell but the Russians definitely are the devil in this book, though he lays plenty of blame on the Chechans also. I knew precious little of this region beforehand and found the culture fascinating. By the end of the second war he was operating under the most primitive of conditions, using household thread when he could get it, and was appalled upon visiting an American ho...more
Johnsergeant
Narrated By: Robert O’Keefe

This unflinching account of one remarkable physician’s experiences during the conflict between Russia and its breakaway republic, Chechnya, is an instant classic of war literature. Weaving the history of the Chechnya conflict and the heritage of his own family into the visceral narrative, Dr. Baiev tells a tale that is shocking, heroic, and impossible to forget.
Aidmer Wainakh
it's great book, emotional and very close to heart
John Brookes
“The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire” tells the story of Khassan Baiev, a cosmetic surgeon living in the town of Alkhan Kala whose life - along with that of the rest of the population of Chechnya – is turned upside down by several wars with Russia during the 1990s as a result of Chechnya’s declaration of independence.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Chechen-Ingush Soviet Republic was split into two: the Republic of Ingushetia and Republic of Chechnya. The latter proclaimed the Che...more
Joseph D. Walch
My wife and I listened to this book borrowed from the Utah county Library on a trip. It's the tale of Khassan Baiev who is a plastic surgeon turned trauma/combat surgeon during the Russian offensive in Chechnya. He was the target of Russian military as well as Islamic insurgents who suspected he was sympathetic to the Russians. At three points in his life he escaped death by a razor's margin; once when he was picked up at a checkpoint during his travels by contratniki--paid irregular Russian mil...more
Jenny Grieve-laing
This is a strange book. It is a story of one surgeon's attempts to uphold the Hippocratic Oath by treating everyone who needs his help, Chechen and Russian, during the terrible conflicts in his homeland in the late 20th Century. As such it gives an horrific insight into war from the civilian and medical perspectives: the unrelenting and indiscriminate terror of snipers, bombing and kidnapping and the trauma and horror of trying to piece together broken bodies of men, women and children in the mo...more
Shelley Fearn
The Oath was mentioned at the end of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. It was just by chance that the library owned a copy. It has only been out 4 times since its purchase in 2003. That should give you a good idea of just how little interest there has been in Chechnya.

This is an important book. While it teaches a bit about Chechen history and traditions, it is best when it describes how one person can really make a difference (often at great cost to himself). If we all were a bit like Khassan...more
Cookie
I received this book from a friend who was shocked when I wanted to read it, especially considering the fact that she was giving it to me with a fictional story of a girl in high school; the two books did not go hand-in hand, to say the least.
What did I know about Chechnya before reading this book? Absolutely NOTHING! What I learned is invaluable and unbelieveable. Dr. Baiev's belief in the Hippocratic Oath allowed him to help all that needed it during both of the Russian-Chechan Wars (1994-199...more
Sofia
This is an autobiography of a Chechen Surgeon, whose dedication to his people and his profession, only deserves tremendous respect and admiration. He breaks all stereotypes in that war stricken part of the world and restores faith in humanity. Now, years after he wrote this book, he is able to go back to Chechnya for several months out of the year and operate on the children free of charge.
Gail
This is a well planned book that sets the stage clearly. It's difficult to get into it only because the atmosphere, names and culture are foreign, but once the reader understands the viewpoint of the author, it's easier to read. It is amazing what people will do to each other, and the lives these people were forced to lead show how strong humans can be. The only criticism I have is that it seems one-sided. Then again, it is told from a singular point of view. If I could give it another 1/2 star,...more
Jonathan Bennett
What a read!



A story graphically showing the reality of war which liturally reaches out from the pages, grabs you by the collar and drags you kicking and screaming through page tourning drama and action.



A brilliantly written book about a side of a war that is not often heard. What makes this better than just a history lesson is there is a story behind it and characters you really endear to.
Susan
Steven Sinclair is a caring, careful OB/GYN but now he's being sued by a couple who's child was born with serious birth defects. Charlie Mayfield is the prosecutor who must prove that Dr. Sinclair was at fault. If you love legal novels a whole lot, this one is probably a good one for you. I didn't find it as thrilling as the cover implied, but I never considered not finishing it either…
Hans
Amazing book. Gives both a good historical take of one man's struggle through the Russo-Chechnyan War and illustrates just how much good one devoted man can accomplish even when faced with the most horrifying of circumstances. Khassan's story is reminiscent of Paul Farmer's in Haiti and, if you enjoyed Mountains Beyond Mountains, is a must read.
Natalie
I really liked this book but got bored at the end (I still haven't read the last 20 pages, and I might not ever get to it). This book is about the war in Chechnya, which is especially interesting to me since I lived in Russia while this was going on. It was very educational and kept my interest most of the time. I would recommend it.
Chris Coppola
I got to communicate with Dr. Khasan Baiev, a chechen surgeon who worked during the two conflicts with Russia. He actully moved to Boston as a politocol refugee: His willingness to treat any patient, often put him in danger. His book is an incredibly gripping account of operating even under personal danger.
Cynthia
This book was a little slow at first, but once I got into it, it was an interesting read. It was from a Chechney doctor perspective during their wars with Russia. The time frame is the 90s, but while you are reading it, it feels more like this could only have happened in the early 1900s.
Jessica
I thought this was an incredible book. It's another one of those biographies/memoirs that leave you completely amazed at what some people are able to endure. It was really interesting to learn more about the history of Chechnya and also the Chechen-Russian conflict.
Sabah
A deeply horrifying tale of what life was truly like in Chechnya for a surgeon and Muslims from his rural village in the brutal years of the Russian War. Not for the faint of heart. It was co-written, but the writing style is still relatively simple.
Jamie
This book is not for the faint of heart. I picked it up from a random bookshelf at work on a random day when I had nothing else to read. I LOVED it. This is the true story of a real HERO! What a story and it happened within 20 years! A must read!
Tim Painter
Another sad look into what war does to countries and the efforts of one man to save as many of those people as possible. Very poignant in the telling.

This book gives the Chechyna side of the story of the war between Russia and Chechyna.
Vishal
A soul stirring read. This could very well be one of the few books that enables a reader to see the ugly side of war through the eyes of a surgeon (and a fearless human being) who upheld the Hippocratic oath at all times.
Rahadyan
A moving chronicle about a Chechen physician's life and family. I had not known very much about Chechnya's place in history and the world today and this helped to educate me.
Clare
This book is interesting and often horrifying, and the strong principles of Khassan Baiev are clear and admirable. I wouldn't have minded more medicine!
Leisy
I LOVED this book. every part of it intrigued me!! it is one of my favorites of all time.

about a doctor working during the russian/chechen conflict.
Allison
Mar 21, 2008 Allison marked it as to-read
Andrew saw Baiev speak at Bates and got autographed copies for me and my dad for Christmas. So spot on and thoughtful. I cannot wait to read it.
Diane
This story of the Checnyan/Russian wars, and the doctor who took care of the wounded on all sides, was an eye-opener for me.
Interzone
I actually just finished listening to this on cd. Didn't get to read but borrowed the cds from the library. Great book.
Leah
this book is amazing! If you want a in depth look into the on ground situation during the latest Chechen conflict read it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya
  • The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War
  • When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam's Greatest Dynasty
  • Big Boy Rules: America's Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq
  • The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic
  • The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village
  • Wave of Terror
  • Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust
  • Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria
  • The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria
  • The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur
  • Endgame: The Betrayal And Fall Of Srebrenica, Europe's Worst Massacre Since World War II
  • Stalin's children : three generations of love and betrayal
  • Hitler's Scientists: Science, War, and the Devil's Pact
  • Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, And Kandahar
  • The Soul of Iran: A Nation's Struggle for Freedom
  • One Soldier's War
  • Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale
Grief of My Heart: Memoirs of a Chechen Surgeon Grief of My Heart

Share This Book