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December 2008
384 pages  

6 x 9
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Oblique Insights and Observations
Rusinow, Dennison
This volume presents reports from Dennison Rusinow, a member of the American Universities Field Staff, on major political developments and life in Yugoslavia during the Cold War.

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Dennison Rusinow was a research professor at the University Center for International Studies and emeritus professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. He was the author of five books, including The Yugoslav Experiment, 1948-1974. He died in 2004, after he was struck by a vehicle while walking near his home in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“For decades, Dennison Rusinow was a source of profound, unique, and real-time insights into the unfolding tragedy of Yugoslavia. He was trained as an historian, naturally gifted as a journalist, and supported by an intrepid family that shared with him the experience of living in the country he knew so well. Just as Rusinow's dispatches, analytical reflections, and lectures shed light on what was happening in the Balkans when he was on the scene, this book will long stand as a source of wisdom about one of the more consequential episodes of the twentieth century.”—Strobe Talbott, president, The Brookings Institution

“During the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Dennison Rusinow-based variably in Belgrade, Zagreb, or Vienna—produced a series of insightful reports into high politics and daily life in socialist Yugoslavia. His reports were the bread and butter for those wanting to understand that country and they continue to be worth reading. This book is a valuable collection of some of Rusinow's best writing and Gale Stokes deserves both praise and gratitude for bringing this collection to the public.”—Sabrina P. Ramet, The Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim, Norway

“Readers will enjoy the engaging color and humor of Rusinow’s prose, but will also appreciate the timelessness of the insights and analysis in the selections.”—Choice

“Should be required reading for students of Yugoslav history, as well as for those more generally interested in the history of liberalization and repression under communist regimes.”—Canadian Slavonic Papers

“Complements and supplements [Rusinow’s] earlier work by providing a more detailed analysis of the most crucial moments of that period and adding new insights on Yugoslavia’s final crisis in the post-Tito decade.”—Slavic Review

“A fitting nomument to the scholarship of someone with unrivaled long-term knowledge of Yugoslavia who had the analytical insights and journalistic gifts to bring the country alive for many of those fascinated by the Yugoslav experiment.” —H-Net List for Study of East Central European History since 1500

“A great tribute to [Rusinow] and a great contribution to the field of Yugoslav studies.”—Canadian-American Slavic Studies

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Russian and East European Studies Table of Contents
Russia and East Europe/History Read a selection from this book

Defying Stalin and his brand of communism, Tito's Yugoslavia developed a unique kind of socialism that combined one-party rule with an economic system of workers' self-management that aroused intense interest throughout the cold war. As a member of the American Universities Field Staff, Dennison Rusinow became a long-time resident and frequent visitor to Yugoslavia during these transformative times. This volume presents the most significant of his refreshingly immediate and well-informed reports on life in Yugoslavia and the country's major political developments. Rusinow's essays explore such diverse topics as the first American-style supermarket and its challenge to traditional outdoor markets; the lessons of a Serbian holiday feast (Slava); the resignation of Vice President Aleksandar Rankovic; the Croatian political purge of 1971; ethnic divides and the rise of nationalism throughout the country; the tension between conservative and liberal forces in Yugoslav politics; and the student revolt at Belgrade University in 1968. Rusinow's final report from 1991 examines the serious challenges to the nation's future even as it collapsed.


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