With the hardened realism that comes from years of journalism and a first-hand knowledge of the Balkan scene, Doder and Branson (coauthor of Gorbachev) have written a vivid and scathing biography of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. During the past decade of war and chaos in the former Yugoslavia, the central figure amid the devastation has been Milosevic, yet he has remained a mystery, ""drawing a veil around his persona."" In their masterful expos , in which they charge Milosevic with causing the Balkan crises of the 1990s, Doder and Branson, a husband-and-wife team, draw a portrait of a man with ""demons in his soul,"" filled with ""the intoxication... of genuine popularity,"" who used that popularity to grab power. They take us from his youth in WWII and postwar Serbia, through his rise in Communist circles via crafty intrigues and blatant betrayal, and his cynical exploitation of Serb nationalism to gain power. Milosevic, the authors show, exercised that power with extreme cruelty, unleashing violent paramilitary groups on his enemies and ordering a gruesome beating of one of his political opponents, Vuk Draskovic. Doder and Branson present Milosevic the man and the politician against the larger canvas of postwar Yugoslavian history. They also emphasize the partnership of Milosevic and his wife, Mirjana, whom they and many others believe has long exerted enormous influence on her husband. For those looking for the reasons and motivations behind the wars and hatreds in the former Yugoslavia, this is an excellent book with some disturbing revelations. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1999 Release date: 11/01/1999 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.