Yugoslavia's Ruin: The Bloody Lessons of Nationalism: A Patriot's Warning

Article excerpt

EUROPE

Cvijeto Job

Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002, 308pp, US$24.95 (paper), ISBN 0-7425-1781-5

Cvijeto Job is a former ambassador of the former Yugoslavia. When he returned to Belgrade after serving as ambassador to Cyprus, his name appeared on a page of the Foreign Ministry directory, which was simply headed 'Ambassadors.' (In most European countries and, indeed, the United States, ambassadors keep their title when they return to headquarters, or even when they retire). Asked what he actually did, he replied solemnly that he was 'Astrologer-General to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.'

He might now justly call himself 'Necrologist-General for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.' His book sketches, in scathing detail, the factors that led to its demise. Writing from a rare perspective - unique among the many authors on the subject - as a former member of Tito's Partisans during World War II and a Yugoslav diplomat for 41 years thereafter, he has harsh words to say about almost everyone. He does, however, express considerable sympathy for the Bosnian Muslims and their wartime leader, Alija Izetbegovi[Symbol Not Transcribed], and mocks fears of 'a Muslim nation in the heart of Europe,' which were a staple of Serbian and Croatian propaganda. …