Courtesy Reuters

EDUARD BENEŠ once described Milovan Djilas as the only Communist leader he knew who dared to think independently. Josef Korbel, former Czechoslovak Ambassador to Jugoslavia, to whom Beneš made this statement, added his own opinion that Djilas "does not like to conceal from himself the situation as it really is, which most Communists do."[i] Stalin is reported to have considered Djilas a very frank man, who said what he thought.[ii] Djilas seemed to enjoy being something of an enfant terrible--a colorful and cocky individualist who treated everyone, even Tito, with an air of informality. In short, Djilas had many of the very characteristics which are incompatible with discipline in a Communist Party, and it is surprising that he lasted as long as he did. Despite these qualities, Djilas became one of the three or four top figures in Jugoslavia. Among other things he was President of the People's Assembly,

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

Subscribe