With Stalin Against Tito: Cominformist Splits in Yugoslav Communism

Cornell University Press, 1988 - 294 sidor
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In 1948, in a series of moves that culminated in the famous Cominform Resolution, Stalin struck at the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, provoking the first split in the Communist state system. Commentators have long acknowledged that this event had a decisive impact on the Soviet Union's relations with the Communist movement throughout the world, but little attention has been paid to its significance for the political history of Yugoslavia. With this long-awaited book, Ivo Banac becomes the first scholar to assess the domestic consequences of Yugoslavia's expulsion from the Cominform, and his findings will radically revise some of our most basic assumptions about Tito's revolution. Banac's subject is the nature and fate of those elements in the Yugoslav Communist party who were said to have sided with Moscow against their own country's leadership. Sifting through a huge fund of hitherto unexploited sources, Banac demonstrates that the so-called Cominformists, long considered an inconsequential fifth column, in fact represented as much as 20 percent of the party membership. He shows that this fifth column included a variety of oppositional groups within Yugoslav communism who wanted to exploit the crisis for their own purposes. Their aims often diverged, and only from the official Yugoslav perspective could they be said to have constituted a unified opposition. Banac reconstructs the history of the labyrinthine factional struggles that preceded and accompanied the 1948 split and demonstrates that, as always, the national question played the dominant role in Yugoslav politics. After identifying the members of the opposition and mapping its course, Banac recounts the harsh repression of the movement. He provides massive documentation of a startling irony: the conflict with Stalin played the same part in the shaping of Yugoslavia's political system as the collectivization and purges of the 1930s did in the history of Soviet communism. Banac's important work will reshape our view of postwar Yugoslavia and help us to understand the condradictions of this complex and strategic country.--from dust jacket flap

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