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Tito (Life & Times) Paperback – May 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Life&Times
  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Haus Publishing (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904950310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904950318
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,453,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Entertaining and timely ... Barnett makes good use of Tito's official memoirs and recorded recollections ... While allowing the regime to speak with its own voice, Barnett also points out the fabrications, where ideological lessons upstaged factual accuracy.' -- Neil MacDonald The Financial Times 'Neil Barnett's engaging and elegant biography is an invaluable resource for diplomats, aid workers and peacekeepers who want to understand better the enigmatic statesman who bequeathed so many vexing national and territorial questions.' -- John Phillips The Tablet

About the Author

Neil Barnett is a journalist specializing in the Balkans. He covered the region for The Independent, The Economist and Jane's Intelligence Review.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Hosse on June 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Josip Broz, known to the world as Tito, was a true revolutionary. He was a man of vision, will, personality, and courage who did everything in his power to unite and save his country from the Nazis, and later, was one of the very few men in Eastern Europe able and willing to defy Joseph Stalin (a feat few lived to tell about). Tito was the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement---neither pro-Soviet or pro-American, which included India's Nehru and Egypt's Nasser. He stood toe to toe with Churchill, Brezhnev, US Presidents and rarely blinked. Tito was a man used to getting his way. And yet, as powerful as his love of country was, Tito, mismanaged the government through his rule as near absolute dictator as much as his vanity and ego. In the end, he left no mechanism that would allow his country to survive his death.

Neil Barnett's book presents Marshall Tito as well as any book thus far written or translated. An excellent book about a man as complex as the region he comes from.
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This biography is OK if you know little about Tito, and don't want to wade through some 400-page tome. It's just 150 easy pages, with little text-boxes on the side of some of them, telling you who the Četniks were, or who Fitzroy Maclean was, etc..

But the writing is irritatingly poor, and seems to have been spared the attentions of a proofreader. In consequence, one constantly trips over sentences that should read smoothly.
1) There are missing words, and misplaced words -- presumably where a sentence has been revised, but left in a jumble.
2) He doesn't know his tenses, so we have "the Germans sprung [sic] Operation Schwarz". Good grief.
3) He can't punctuate. There are misplaced apostrophes. And missing commas that obscure meaning until the third attempt at reading some sentences.
4) He can't spell Führer. At all.
5) Some intriguing information prompted me to look up his footnote 52 -- only to find that notes 45 to 60 are entirely missing: we go from 44 straight to 61.

Then there are the terrible factual errors: wrong year for Franz Ferdinand's assassination in Sarajevo; wrong day for Hitler's invasion of Poland.

And on and on. I get better stuff from my undergraduate students. Frequently.
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Whether a modern day Wikipedia junkie or just and old-school pedant, if you've ever found yourself thinking, "I wish I knew a bit more about this Josip Broz Tito everyone seems to be talking about," this is the book for you. I don't really know why I wanted to know more about the Balkan's Stalin-esque strongman, but I did, and I didn't want to A) spend a lot of money finding out, or B) get too in depth. This book was great for both.

"If you friggin' loved it so much, then why not a 5-star review?" you ask. Well I'll tell ya why: I found a few typos and inconsistencies, for instance the helpful timeline of Tito's life and world events at the back of the book lists a different date for his death (should I have said "SPOILER ALERT!"? Anyway, if you weren't already aware, yes, Tito is dead) than the last chapter does, which felt a little hasty.

That said, I did enjoy the book and will likely look into other biographies from this series when next I get a hankering to learn more about random historical figures.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rhoads R Cannon on July 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tito was one of 20 Century history's most enigmatic public officials. His rise as leader from the ashes of WWII to power is a fascinating tale of not only survival but also an example of shrewd political savvy. Students of the Cold War, political leadership, and East and Southeastern Europe, will appreciate this item. Brilliant!
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