I have been trying to understand where we are going as a country and what the worst case scenario for a civil war without limits will look like. In doing so, the case of the former Yugoslavia leaps out and demands careful study. An artificial construct of a nation of vastly different competing ethnic regions, religious faiths and competing economic tensions, Yugoslavia was the template for a civil war waiting to happen when the rule of kings, strong men and dictators finally failed. In other words, the kind of nation that the United states is becoming thanks to the political correctness of collectivisms over the past century. We were once one nation, now we are, at best three, divided by fundamentally incompatible ideologies.
I discovered rather quickly that it is impossible to understand the tragedy of Yugoslavia without reference to its most famous historian and dissident, Milovan Djilas. This sparked a memory cell or two and I recalled that Dr, Richter recommended reading "Anything by Milovan Djilas." Born in 1911 Djilas outlived most of his former friends and enemies, dying on 20 April 1995). He not only was a Communist Party of Yugoslavia politician, theorist and author, but he was a key figure in the Partisan movement during World War II, as well as in the post-war government. In addition, this remarkable man became one of the best-known and most prominent dissidents in Yugoslavia and the whole of the Eastern Bloc.
Currently I am reading Djilas' history of the Partisan campaigns, Wartime.
Wartime didn't come out until 1980, almost four years after Dr. Richter suggested "Anything by Milovan Djilas." Somehow, I never read it after its release. What I am certain was on the list was his 1957 work The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System,
I'll be revisiting those as well as the fundamental guide to Yugoslavia and her dissimilar peoples at the beginning of world War II, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West. If, that is, God gives me the time.