‘Entertaining and timely … Barnett makes good use of Tito’s official memoirs and recorded recollections … While allowing the regime to speak with its own voice, Barnett also points out the fabrications, where ideological lessons upstaged factual accuracy.’
‘Neil Barnett’s engaging and elegant biography is an invaluable resource for those who want to understand better the enigmatic statesman who bequeathed so many vexing national and territorial questions.’
During his life Tito successfully managed the internal tensions of his multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual country. But after this death in 1980 Yugoslavia’s institutions were revealed as rudderless and Lilliputian. The break-up of Yugoslavia, the country Tito, the Croat turned Yugoslav, had created was inevitable. The demon of ethnic rivalry that he had spent his life containing was unleashed and the five wars that followed – some not yet fully resolved – were Tito’s nightmare, but they were in many ways the result of his own myopic egomania.
NEIL BARNETT has covered the Balkans for the Economist and other major papers. He also worked in the Middle East and has reported extensively on the conflict in Iraq.