Richard West, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $27.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7867-0191-9
This impressive biography of Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) sheds welcome light on the current bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia. West describes Tito's rise to power, his creation of the Partisan Army during the Axis occupation, his consolidation of southern Slavs after the war and establishment of a Communist Yugoslavia, the break with Stalin in 1948, Tito's subsequent rivalry with the Soviet bloc and his leadership of nonaligned states. In freelance journalist West's view, Tito's great achievement in foreign affairs was the rapprochement with western Europe. The book also clarifies the present three-way conflict among Serbs, Croats and Muslims. West argues persuasively that to understand the region's cycle of hatred and violence, one must take an in-depth look at its religious history, especially the schisms among the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church and Islam in the Middle Ages. In contrast to Western media assumptions, there is scant difference, according to West, between warring factions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all of whom are alike in appearance, language and bellicosity: what divides them is not class or race but religious intolerance. Illustrations. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
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