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Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia Hardcover – February 22, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books; First Edition edition (February 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822328550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822328551
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,093,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The war crimes trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, which began in February, makes this political biography especially timely. Sell is a retired Foreign Service officer who spent two tours of duty (a total of eight years) in Yugoslavia, first in the final years of the Tito presidency and again in the late 1980s, just before the country began to fragment. Here he concentrates on the 14-year period (1987-2001) when Milosevic held high office in Yugoslavia, ending with his arrest and transfer to The Hague. Milosevic is depicted as rising to power without bothering about those he harmed on the way up and, once in power, as gradually losing his grip on reality and spiraling down into a world of delusion. Without dwelling on the horror of the war crimes, the author holds his subject responsible for much of the destruction of his country. Although some of these details have already been covered in Lenard J. Cohen's Serpent in the Bosom and Slavoljub Djuklic and Alex Dubinsky's Milosevic and Markovic, this book is valuable for its background on the current trial and coverage of recent history of a troubled region. Recommended for most libraries. Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

“It will be decades until someone can begin to write a history of the Balkans conflicts of the last decade of the twentieth century. Until then, few accounts will be more valuable than Louis Sell’s first-hand account of the twelve years of Slobodan Milosevic from his conversion to nationalism in Kosovo to his transfer to the International Tribunal in The Hague. As very few others, Sell has been on the different scenes of the conflicts, met the different actors, seen the drama from different perspectives, and been able to put the pieces together. He has written a highly readable and most interesting book.”—Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden and High Representative for Bosnian Peace Implementation


“Louis Sell brings to his fascinating study of the Serbian tyrant a deep experience in the Balkans, an authority based on his own participation in some of the events he describes, and a keen analytical eye. This is a first-rate book.”—Warren Zimmermann, United States Ambassador to Yugoslavia, 1989–1992


“Louis Sell systematically maps the rise and fall of Slobodan Milosevic in the first comprehensive biography of the man seen as most responsible for the violent disintegration of former Yugoslavia. Armed with years of experience as a diplomat and analyst of the Balkans, Sell has written a scholarly and compelling account about Slobodan Milosevic. It is an important work that merits attention from anyone who wants to understand the nature of Slobodan Milosevic’s disastrous rule.”—Laura Silber, author of The Death of Yugoslavia

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By T NAVARRO SERRANO on February 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Although the facts and the personality of Milosevic are properly described, the book is, in my opinion, too partial. I don't think it is lack of knowledge but the will to believe it that way.
This eternal dichotomy of "good boys and bad boys" that in America is so much extended, appears very strongly in this book, specially when the role of the USA is concerned.Too simple,I must say.
Let's say that it is a good book to be red in America...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Campbell on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was lucky enough to take a class with Professor Sell. Naturally, we used many other sources and were encouraged to seek out even more. As part of the history of the area and era I found this book very useful and especially interesting given Professor Sell's first-hand accounts. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone studying the Balkans. I hope he writes another book about his work in Kosovo or, if we're lucky, an account of all his years in the region.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Murray on September 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is worth checking out from the library, but I wouldn't buy it.

The book is well written and easy to read. I have to give Mr. Sell credit. He is a very talented writer, which is why I gave the book two stars rather than one.

Unfortunately, the book is poorly documented (there are a conspicuous lack of end notes for this sort of a book) and the author frequently writes as though he had privlaged access to Slobodan Milosevic's thoughts and feelings. Mr. Sell may have been an "insider" with the State Dept., but I don't think he was clairvoyant.

It is important to keep the author's position in mind when reading this book. He was a U.S. foreign Service officer serving in Yugoslavia. He was there to advance U.S. Government policy in the region. The real point of the book seems to be to justify the policies of the United States with regard to Yugoslavia.

This book may be valuable as an insight into the thinking that prevailed within the State Department, but it is not an impartial or even accurate assessment of the events that led to the destruction of Yugoslavia.
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Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia
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