A quick summary of Atentat

Just finished Milos Vasic's book on the Djindjic assassination last night. It is a solid piece of research, very much in his outspoken style which will be familiar to people who have read his articles in Vreme. Some people will find this style engaging, some will find it distracting, but in neither case should this detract from his contribution, which is to set out the characters and methods involved in the alliance between security services and organised crime, and to draw out the connections between what seem to be disparate instances of corruption and violence.

Most of what is presented is material that will be familiar to people who have followed events in the region, but Vasic brings it all together in one place and does a persuasive job of showing how different facts are connected. He also has good answers to those parts of the media campaign conducted over the past two years which have sought either to empty the known facts about the murder of any content or to argue that Djindjic in some way deserved to be murdered.

The book gives at least preliminary answers to what are probably the biggest mysteries of the murder. Those would be: 1) what motivated the government to maintain so much of Milosevic's semilegal security structure in place for so long?, 2) why were responses to what were, in retrospect, the first obvious signs of a conspiracy so weak?, 3) which are the political forces that continue to prevent major criminal cases from being resolved? To walk through the answers in a short blog post would be both giving too little information and giving too much away, so I will hold back. But I can certainly recommend the book as solid, comprehensive and provocative.

I have no information about whether an English translation is being considered or prepared, unfortunately. But it would be a worthwhile publication.


Anonymous said...

Aw, no, Eric. You can't just leave your readers hanging like that.

Consider, say, me. Lived in Belgrade for 2 years, still go back to visit occasionally, absolutely fascinated by the continuing saga. But (1) I can't easily get a copy until the next time I'm in BG, and (2) even if I did, my Serbo-Croat has become so rusty that it would probably take me several weeks to eke through the darn thing, and I'd likely miss or misunderstand any number of key points.

I'm sure other EE readers are in as bad a state, or worse.

If it comes out in English, I'll grab it with both hands. Meanwhile, could you at least post a summary?

Doug M.

Eric Gordy said...

Doug, I'll try. I also want to find out about the possibility of an English translation. I'm willing to translate it myself if nobody else is.