In This Review

Tito's Flawed Legacy: Yugoslavia and the West Since 1939

Tito's Flawed Legacy: Yugoslavia and the West Since 1939
By Nora Beloff
287 pp, Westview Press, 1986

In this "basic reassessment" of Tito and Titoism, an experienced and respected journalist, for many years with the London Observer, sets out to demolish a number of "myths" allegedly created by the regime. They have to do, principally, with the glorification (and falsification) of Tito's character and career, the aims and exploits of the Partisans in World War II, the significance of the break with Stalin, the Yugoslav role in the Nonaligned Movement ("nonaligned against the West"), the supposed federal solution of the nationalities problem, and the highly touted but unworkable institutions of socialist self-management. Much of what she says is well founded, but the result is not such a shattering revelation as she seems to think, and in her fervor she often overstates her case, even to the point of creating counter-myths. Western policy toward Yugoslavia-beginning with Churchill's decisions in World War II-has been based not on lies propagated by the communist leaders or on misunderstanding of Yugoslav domestic and foreign policies, but on calculations of national and Western interest.