LOOK EAST, LOOK WEST: The Socialist Adventure in Yugoslavia by David Tornquist

LOOK EAST, LOOK WEST: The Socialist Adventure in Yugoslavia

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To an American audience Yugoslavia is best known as the setting for a Djilas to have his tortured youth and sweet disaffection with Titoism. Yugoslavia has also been the subject of numerous monographs published by university presses. What has been largely absent is the para-popular book that gives a broad-based but searching analysis of developments in the country's social and political life. There is much to report upon: the Tito apostasy; the evolution of national communism; the one-foot-in-both-camps foreign policy; and the management of factories of workers' councils. With two years of residence in Yugoslavia behind him, the author relates his experiences with great good will but a lesser amount of political sophistication. The book presents few problems but it also meets few challenges. Save for the valuable treatment of the role of workers' councils, it is more useful than essential. The author walks a folksy road, meets a variety of common men as well as party officials. He goes through bucolic villages as well as Belgrade. The book is perceptive about people and places but nowhere do we find an adequate commentary concerning the sui generis aspects of the Yugoslavian version of Communism or the prospects of its developing the type of institutions that will allow it to easily survive after Tito passes from the scene. In sum, the presentation is popular rather than probing.

Publisher: Macmillan