Written in 1961, after Djilas had served time in prison for his views, and featuring portraits of the leading figures of that world, including Molotov, Tito, Khrushchev and Beria, this is also a candid look at one of the most dangerous men in modern history.
Milovan Djilas (1911-95) was Tito's key lieutenant in the brutal partisan war against the German and Italian occupiers of Yugoslavia. His missions to Moscow aligned the Yugoslav Communist Party with the USSR, with his final mission in 1948 failing to prevent the break between Stalin and Tito. He was Vice President of Yugoslavia but became increasingly remote from a regime which he felt had betrayed the ideals of the party. His two major books, The New Class (1957) and Conversations with Stalin (1962), enraged Tito and resulted in his spending altogether some nine years in prison. His writings made him a central dissident figure during the Cold War. He continued to live in Belgrade until his death.