Book Reviews

Book Review: Our man in Iraq.

Josip Broz Tito (1892 – 1980), the son of a Croat and Slovene mother, is the architect of the second Yugoslav Socialist federation that lasted from 1943 to 1992.

He joined, after returning from Omsk (Russia) where he was imprisoned, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia’s government. This occurred after the 1917 October revolution in Russia.

He managed to keep the shaky federation alive by politics, “bribery” of confederate states, though each was never really in agreement with Belgrad’s policies.

Milovan Djilas, his vice president, wrote a book while Tito was still alive predicting the “cobbled” confederation would dissolve after Tito’s death, and it happened in the 1990’s.

After Yugoslavia disintegrated, life in each state became chaotic. People lost their moral compass, religious animosities between Christians and Muslims surfaced, and life in general became unbearable.

Robert Perisic is a Croat and award-winning nonficition, fiction writer, and poet.

This novel was translated from Croatian, and for those whose mother tongue in English, it may sound a little different to what was meant by the author. Literal translations never really can reflect what the author had in mind when he wrote.

This book vividly conveys how dilletante `image makers`, politicians, and politics work today in Croatia, and in general, other states (Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, just to name a few).

But the most profound changes in Croatia occurred within the population and affected morality.

The author describes how family members resort to blackmail other members of the family, how actors or actresses behave privately, and at work, and how alcoholic beverage consumption increased.

It is a fascinating read to learn what actually happens to a society after a oppressive political culture gives way to a `liberated` capitalist regime.

A very interesting read.

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