My book is about Tito, and about Yugoslavia. To the extent that it has been possible, I have told it in Tito's own words, for he has spoken often to me of his youth in his native village, of his years as a wandering mechanic in the workshops of Europe, of his struggles as a socialist for the rights of workers, of hunger strikes and of the many years he spent in different jails. I have filled the gaps from the words of his friends and associates, and from documents. And, of course, I have called upon my own recollections of events, for I have been, and remain, one who was a member of the movement which Tito leads.
I have known him personally for fourteen years, in some of the most crucial periods of his life and work: in the years before the Second World War, under the terror of the Karageorgevich dynasty, when he reorganized and prepared the Communist Party of Yugoslavia for the coming decisive events, I knew him those strenuous days when he used to hide for a few days in my home from the persecution of the police. I was with him all through the Second World War, when he started the war of liberation against Hitler and Mussolini.
I was with him on the most critical day of that war, in 1943, when the German High Command had decided to destroy us at any cost. An extensive plan had been drawn up, and in mid-May six German and five Italian divisions and one Bulgarian regiment surrounded our main forces. For our part, we had three divisions, including Supreme Headquarters on the border of Montenegro and Bosnia, in mountainous country carved by deep canyons.