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A Biography

Adam LeBor

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Before his death in March 2006, Slobodan Milosevic was on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague for crimes against humanity. This engrossing biography documents the life of the former Serbian leader, whose policies instigated wars in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo as well as the bloody campaigns of ethnic cleansing that destroyed a once sophisticated multi-national country.

Drawing on his unrivalled access to many of those closest to Milosevic, author and journalist Adam LeBor describes his subject’s unhappy childhood, his marriage, and his important friendships. He offers details about the ascendancy of crime over politics in the new republic and the secret channels used by Milosevic and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman as they conspired to carve up Bosnia. LeBor recounts the history of the negotiations between Milosevic and the Western diplomats, politicians, and businessmen with whom he dealt, and tells the tragic story of the wars. Finally he portrays the unprecedented international operation that brought down the Milosevic regime in 2001 and led to his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.

A gripping account of Europe’s first rogue leader in the post-cold war period, this book is also a revelatory look at the tragic story of the collapse of a country and the role played by the West.

Adam LeBor covered the Yugoslav wars for the Independent and the London Times. He is the author or coauthor of Hitler’s Secret Bankers, Surviving Hitler, and A Heart Turned East.

"The history of Europe is all too often the history of dictators, and Adam LeBor’s biography of Slobodan Milosevic will stand next to those of Stalin and Hitler. The study of monsters demands real insight and scrupulous detail, and LeBor’s book has all of that, but there is more—an exceptionally compelling and sharply written story of Europe at the end of the 20th century."—Alan Furst, author of Blood of Victory

"A little gem, splendidly cut and very lively—the best Milosevic story available."—Ivo Banac, Yale University

“LeBor discovers much information that casts Milosevic as an exploiter rather than a champion of Serb nationalism. . . . Embroidering these deadly political machinations with Milosevic’s domestic life, an uxorious one centered on his wife, LeBor depicts a consummate opportunist who succeeded, for a while, in riding high while a country disintegrated and an economy descended into gangsterism. A vital addition to the oeuvre on the catastrophic end of Yugoslavia.”—Booklist

“Lucid and cogent. . . . Recommended.”—Choice

“[LeBor] traces Milosevic’s life from schoolboy to defense attorney. What gives special vibrancy to the story, other than brisk, uncluttered prose, are the many interviews he conducted with schoolmates, early business associates, colleagues who served with him, colleagues destroyed by him, family members, and even Mirjana Markovic after her husband’s arrest.”—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

“LeBor’s biography is straightforward, clearly written, and quite objective, and it should be engaging even to a wide-ranging readership.”—Dennis, Reinhartz, History: Reviews of New Books

“This seems destined to become the standard reference work for Slobodan Milosevic. . . . Comprehensive . . . readable.”—Institute for War and Peace Reporting

“A highly readable new biography of Slobodan Milosevic. . . . A rewarding portrait, which has much to offer all interested readers.”—Tom Gross, New York Post

“Highly readable, yet savvy about regionally specific realpolitik, this political biography will greatly enhance the lay reader’s understanding of recent events in Yugoslavia.”—Publishers Weekly

“Excellent. . . . Not a character study but a history of the disintegration of Yugoslavia through the lens of Serbian politics.”—Laura Secor, The Nation

ISBN: 9780300194487
Publication Date: March 12, 2004
448 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
8-page insert + 21 line drawings

Sales Restrictions: For sale in the U.S., its territories and dependencies, and the Philippine Islands only
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