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Milosevic The People's Tyrant by Vidosav Stevanovic
  

Synopsis

Milosevic The People's Tyrant by Vidosav Stevanovic

Slobodan Milosevic - Belgrade's tyrant and successor to Tito, 'Butcher of the Balkans' - represents, in many ways, the final shudder of that particularly aggressive 20th-century brand of the creature that was nationalism. His life story is a study in evil: in the 'banality of evil' to use Hannah Arendt's famous phrase. With all the intensity and horror of personal experience, Vidosav Stevanovic, perhaps Serbia's greatest modern writer, tells how Milosevic, a man devoid of any true qualities, climbed his way to the top in slow, silent, murderous steps. But, behind the facade of a grey bureaucrat, is a character of tragic, near-Shakespearean proportions. 'Sloba', as he came to be known, had a loveless childhood, son of a defrocked pastor and school-teacher mother. When Sloba was very young, his father went insane, and killed himself in front of the strange stones to which he preached every Sunday in a nearby field, with a bullet to his temple. Little Miriana, Sloba's future wife and his succour and accomplice in politics, was born in prison, heralding the execution of her own mother, condemned as a Nazi collaborator. Stevanovic, however, has witnessed the greater tragedy: his country's suicide. Part of an ever-diminishing circle of intellectuals who watched as the Milosevic machine destroyed the young nation, trampling over its people and its principles, his is a shattering cri-de-coeur for the victims. It is the bitter personal lament of one man, exiled - as so many of his compatriots - from homeland and history by the Milosevic lie. Milosevic: A People's Tyrant asks how a fractured country and a shattered society could believe in such a man, and raise him to such power. In this raging anatomy of wrong-doing, all are guilty - those who believed, those who followed, those who stood and watched, those who could or would not stop the tragedy from playing out. Vidosav Stevanovic is a Serb himself, and his searing portrait of the Milosevic psychology is a unique testament from within - the biography of a dictator, but also of those who made him. No book will come closer to the man who made Europe shudder, and toppled the Balkans into an inferno out of which it will take years to climb.

Reviews

Stevanovic has elegantly and mercilessly exposed the currents within Serbian society that made the Milosevic phenomenon possible. -The Sunday Times 'Much the best book about that sinister and mysterious figure that I have read: done with passion and a novelist's talent. It provides a mordant and brilliant analysis of vacillating Western attitudes, as well as a fascinating inside account of Serbian attempts to oppose him.' - Neal Ascherson, journalist and author of The Black Sea. The South Slav Journal, Vol. 25 No. 3-4 (97098) Autumn-Winter 2004: 'This is a convincing and valuable book on this subject, which will destroy many conventional idee recu, and will also be a valuable guide to the Yugoslav crisis for the uninitiated.'


About the Author

Vidosav Stevanovic ran the two biggest publishing houses in the Balkans before fleeing to exile in Paris where he now lives. He has written more than ten novels and won the Nin prize - Serbia's most prestigious literary award. Zlata Filipovic is the author of Zlata's Diary, her account of life in Sarajevo during the war. Written when she 12, it was an international bestseller, and has been translated into over 30 languages. She now lives in Dublin.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd July 2004

Author

Vidosav Stevanovic

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Publisher

I.B.Tauris an imprint of I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Format

Hardback
288 pages

Categories

Nationalism
Biography: historical, political & military
European history

ISBN

9781860648427

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