Memoir of a Revolutionary

Memoir of a Revolutionary

3.92 (14 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 402 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 27.94mm | 816.46g
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
  • New York, United Kingdom
  • 0151588503
  • 9780151588503

Review Text

Djilas, until his 1954 break with Tito one of the highest ranking Yugoslav Communists, describes his first decade as a revolutionary. A university student from a peasant family, he was caught up in the bohemian, anti-dictatorial ferment of the early Depression years and became a Communist leader - though rarely an effective organizer, given the persecutions during the period and the party's bumbling failures to achieve a meaningful mass following during the quieter intervals. The book provides little basis for evaluating the political possibilities and failures on the left. Instead it offers brilliant descriptions - especially of prison life with its hunger strikes, tortures, and political discussions - along with reminiscences about the mentality of Communist youth, when personal courage, not intellectual strength, was the criterion of true party spirit. But Djilas' reservations about Moscow's switching lines never take theoretical shape. The composition of the party, the characterology of its leaders and followers, and the late'30's effort to uplift members' sexual morality (as in his fiction, Djilas is attuned to the erotic side of life) are described alongside Djilas' search for a true synthesis between his poetic impulses and political creativity. A personal document rather than an analysis useful to students of Communism or activists who want to know how Stalinism went wrong, the book has the compelling quality of a battle memoir, however imperfectly the conflict itself is rendered. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

14 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 21% (3)
4 50% (7)
3 29% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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