Wes Johnson Balkan Inferno

ISBN 13: 9781929631391

Balkan Inferno

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9781929631391: Balkan Inferno


From the final chapter:
 
...at an Athens cocktail party in the fall of 2003 a young officer from the US embassy said that his first assignment, in 1993-4, had been Tirana, “We could do anything we wanted. In fact, they would like to be our fifty-first state. All the stuff was coming in right out at the international airport.” The “stuff” he was referring to, I knew, was shorthand for military equipment. Then, he quickly moved to another subject while I took in the breathtaking implications of his remarks. It meant that long before Kosovo had gotten out of hand, and had broken into armed conflict, the US was fomenting and actively supporting revolt in the province—the US bears major responsibility for much of what followed, including the war and its unending tragic aftermath.

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About the Author:

Wes Johnson grew up in Minnesota and entered the CIA's junior officer program in 1962. During the 1980s, he was assigned to Jerusalem, Kabul, and Athens. Leaving the agency in 1990, he covered the conflict in the ex-Yugoslavia as an accredited journalist for Inter Press Service and Middle East International. He lives in retirement in Athens, Greece.

From Publishers Weekly:

Vaksberg (Stalin's Prosecutor) unsympathetically traces the fascinating life of the Russian writer who became the so-called father of Soviet literature but who died in 1936, at age 68, under suspicious circumstances. Drawing on new archival research and interviews, the author focuses on Gorky's activities as a cultural and political figure. Vaksberg starts with his subject's rise to literary prominence at the end of the 19th century and his imprisonment for anti-tsarist activities. Early on, Gorky opposed the Bolsheviks and spent several years in exile in Italy. But he began supporting the Stalinist regime after returning home in 1932. Eventually, Vaksberg writes, Gorky became "hostile toward any information from the West, while any propaganda from the east was the ultimate truth." Vaksberg's writing, and the able translation, show stylistic flair, and the author knows his subject well. However, he ends by arguing that Gorky died not of complications from tuberculosis but of a poisoning by Stalinist officials. The thesis has been offered before, and Vaksberg provides little new evidence to support his claim. 30 b&w photos. (Nov.)
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Wes Johnson
Published by Enigma Books (2006)
ISBN 10: 1929631391 ISBN 13: 9781929631391
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