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Djilas (Milovan) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Index to Writings

  • Title: Milovan Djilas papers
    Date (inclusive): 1931-1989
    Collection Number: 80128
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In Serbo-Croatian and English
    Physical Description: 43 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 378 digital image files (.007 GB), 3 sound tape reels (18.3 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, translations, correspondence, printed matter and photographs relating to communism, communism in Yugoslavia, and President Josip Broz Tito.
    Creator: Djilas, Milovan, 1911-1995
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1980, followed by a large increment in 2014.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Milovan Djilas papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    Milovan Djilas (1911-1995) was a Yugoslav communist leader who subsequently became the first prominent dissident in the history of communist Eastern Europe.
    Djilas said that he "traveled the entire road of communism," from a youthful revolutionary, partisan guerrilla fighter against Nazi invaders of his native Montenegro, to a zealous believer in Stalinism, to complete disillusionment and rejection of a system "capable of destroying nine-tenths of the human race to 'make happy' the one-tenth." Djilas was for many years the closest associate of Josip Broz Tito, the founder of communist Yugoslavia. It was Djilas who Tito sent to Moscow early in 1948 to inform Stalin that Yugoslavia would follow its own national development, outside the Soviet bloc. Soon, however, the relationship with Tito soured as Djilas became increasingly critical of the party and its ideology. In 1954 he was expelled from the party and his government job and, in the following year, put on trial for "hostile propaganda." Djilas spent the next four decades in either prison or official isolation.
    In 1957 Djilas was able to smuggle his manuscript of The New Class to the West. It was published in English by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, which was then owned by the author's friend, William "Bill" Jovanovich. The book made Djilas famous. Eventually translated into sixty languages and having sold three million copies, it was a devastating critique of the communist system. The New Class resulted in another trial and seven-year sentence for "being hostile to the people and the state of Yugoslavia."
    In 1962, Djilas published Conversations with Stalin, which resulted in another prison term. Let out in 1966, he was allowed to travel and spent time in Britain, the United States, and Australia. The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 found him a visiting professor at Princeton. He was highly critical of the Soviets, which on his return to Yugoslavia resulted in the revocation of his passport for the next eighteen years and his living in isolation in Belgrade. The domestic ban on Djilas's publications was not lifted until 1988, with his full rehabilitation the following year.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains Djilas's manuscripts and typescripts sent by him to publisher William "Bill" Jovanovich, both published and unpublished, along with correspondence and related materials. There are more than a dozen book manuscripts and numerous essays and articles for the American and Western press. Djilas heavily annotated and corrected most of the manuscripts by hand. Included is the still unpublished English translation of his three-volume novel Worlds and Bridges, and the original Serbian manuscript. Djilas considered this novel about the bloody conflicts between the Serbs and Muslims after World War I his life's main work. The collection also includes the unpublished Jail Diaries.
    The original acquisition contained a typescript of "Nova Klasa: Kritika Savremenog Komunizma," circa 1957, and a photocopy of a typescript of "Druþenje s Titom," 1980, relating to the communist regime in Yugoslavia and to President Josip Broz Tito. They were published under the same titles (Belgrade, 1990; Harrow, England, 1980).
    A manuscript and typescript of Djilas's diary from 1953 and 1954 can be found in box 11. The papers also contain rich correspondence, much of which can be found in boxes 17, 18, 27, 28, 42 and 43, as well as scattered throughout the collection.

    Index to Writings

    Although the papers have not been arranged, this index can serve as a guide to the Djilas writings within the collection.
    Djilas wrote a three volume autobiography. The first volume, Land Without Justice, was published in 1958. The second volume was originally titled Rebellious Youth, and was later referred to as Land Without Justice II. In 1973, Memoir of a Revolutionary was published, which combined volumes 2 and 3 of the autobiography. Within the collection, material from the autobiography is listed under all three titles.
    Box Numbers Titles
    13, 28, 38-39 Conversations with Stalin (Susreti sa Staljinom)

    6, 21 Ideas and Times: Political Essays and Articles

    37-39 Jail Diaries (Zatvorski dnevnik)

    18-19, 22, 24, 35-36 Land Without Justice, (Beslidna zemlja)

    16, 28 The Leper and Other Stories (Gubavac i druge pripovetke)

    13, 30, 40-41 Lost Battles/Under the Colors (Izgubljene bitke)

    3, 4, 22, 34-35 Memoir of a Revolutionary (Pobunjena mladost II; Besudna zemlja, knjiga III)

    7, 41-42 Montenegro (Crna Gora)

    19-21, 33 Njegoš

    1, 11, 22 The New Class (Nova klasa)

    15, 33-34 Paradise Lost (Izgubljeni raj)

    12, 32 Rebellious Youth (Pobunjena mladost)

    10 The Stone and the Violets (Kamen i ljubičice)

    1, 24-25, 36 Tito: The Story From the Inside

    2, 29 Thieves' Fate

    19, 28, 31-32 The Unperfect Society: Beyond the New Class (Nesavršeno društvo)

    8, 29 Wartime

    5, 23-24, 28, 30, 36-37, 39, 40, 44 Worlds and Bridges (Svetovi I mostovi)

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Yugoslavia -- Politics and government -- 1945-1980
    Communism -- Yugoslavia
    Dissenters -- Yugoslavia
    Tito, Josip Broz, 1892-1980