"I still find Slobodan Milosevic very attractive"

Talk Of The Devil, Riccardo Orizio, ISBN 0436209993

This remarkable book is the outcome of interviews with seven former dictators (or in a couple of cases with their wives - but there seems to be a lot of "behind every successful man" going on...) The core interview material itself is interwoven with accounts of how the author actually got to interview these people, dicussions of their history, and interviews other less important figures.

Jaruzelski comes across as perhaps the most sympathetic character of a distinctly unpleasant bunch: his protestations about lack of choice, of doing the best for Poland under impossible circumstances, comes closest to admitting that he wasn't such a great ruler. But really, liars all, I'm left wondering how much they are deceiving themselves and how much they think they are deceiving anyone else.

At the opposite end of the scale, Mira Milosevic seems somehow the most sinister of them all. Perhaps its her proximity, geographical or cultural; perhaps it's just because her chapter is last in the book; perhaps it's the combination of her material with that of Simo Zaric, a Serbian commander now awaiting trial.

Strongly recommended, anyway.


More reviews | RJK | Contents