This compellingly written autobiography covers the past century and more in the life of Bato Tomasevic's Montenegrin family in the harsh and ever-turbulent mountains of southern Yugoslavia. The narrative begins some fifty years before the Balkan wars (1912-1913) and recounts the harrowing experiences of the Tomasevic clan in the twentieth century's two World Wars. The author conveys vividly the hardships of life in under Italian and German occupation: the daily executions, the heroism of underground workers and the effects of occupation on ordinary people. Bato Tomasevic was a boy soldier with the Partisans and experienced the horrors of warfare against the Chetniks, cheating death in an ambush in Eastern Bosnia.Just as vivid are his accounts of, inter alia, post-war Yugoslavia, his narrow escape in the Munich air disaster, life in Belgrade in the hopeful sixties and seventies, the break-up of the Federation after Tito's death, and the efforts of extreme nationalists to create a Greater Serbia and a Greater Croatia through armed might and ethnic cleansing. The family saga ends with Tomasevic's experience of the NATO bombing of Serbia in March 1999 and the downfall and imprisonment of President Milosevic. Tomasevic's story is at once fascinating, heroic, tragic, sometimes even funny, but unquestionably moving, such as his description of he and his mother finding his dead brother's skull or of witnessing a suicide by a young German prisoner of war of roughly the same age as him. It is a story as remembered by a young boy, whose family, like his country, was drawn into a violent and brutal conflict that it could not escape.
'Tomasevic happened to be an eyewitness of some major events in post-war Yugoslav history and to know personally many remarkable people...It should be read as a wonderfully balanced account, sensitive and sensible at the same time, of how history was experienced by people who were unreservedly involved in the successive political regimes (his father to royal, and he himself to communist Yugoslavia), but did not belong to the powerful elite of decision- makers.' European History Quarterly "'Amid the many books published about former Yugoslavia over the past fifteen years, this one stands out -- a moving memoir that reads like an enthralling historical novel. Toma'evic's book opens a unique window into a lost world of the Balkans in the twentieth century.' -- Dejan Djokic, author, Elusive Compromise: A History of Inter-War Yugoslavia (Columbia University Press)
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: 25th April 2008
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.0 x 4.3
Weight (kg): 1.18