Milosevic: A Biography

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Milosevic: A Biography

By Adam LeBor
Yale University Press, 2004
448 pp. $35.00
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Slobodan Milosevic, although with worthy rivals among the culprits responsible for the misery that befell the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, stands sufficiently apart to draw biographers. Maybe it is his rise and fall--from the heights of power to the dock of an international criminal tribunal. Maybe his mix of ambition, skill, ruthlessness, and personality. Maybe the bond between him and the sorceress to whom he is married. Maybe the guilt the West feels, or writers think it should feel, for having done business with him. All of these impulses seem present in LeBor's case. He reported from the former Yugoslavia during the first stages of carnage and got caught up in the subject. He traces Milosevic's life from schoolboy to defense attorney (for himself in The Hague). What gives special vibrancy to the story, other than brisk, uncluttered prose, are the many interviews he conducted with schoolmates, early business associates, colleagues who served with him, colleagues destroyed by him, family members, and even Mirjana Markovic after her husband's arrest.