Yugoslavia is hard to understand. To the extent that I have been able to make some sense of it, that success is built on the extraordinary work done by other scholars. The list could go on and on, but I do want to offer special thanks to those Yugoslav specialists from whom I have learned so much over the years, through so many lively conversations about Yugoslavia and about this project, including John Lampe, Wendy Bracewell, Sabrina Ramet, Paul Shoup, Gale Stokes, Carole Rogel, Brigitte Le Normand, Vladimir Kulić, Hannes Grandits, Nicole Lindstrom, Igor Duda, Maja Mikula, Karin Taylor, Elissa Helms, Paula Pickering, Emily Greble, Zoran Milutinović, Arnold Suppan, Katherine Sredl, Peter Vodopivec, Dejan Djokić, Božo Repe, Nick Miller, Ellen Comisso, and the late Dennison Rusinow. I am also grateful for the insights, inspiration, and support I have gained from conversations with what has turned out to be a truly remarkable collection of colleagues—and friends—in the broader circles of East European and Balkan history. Here, too, I cannot hope to acknowledge everyone who deserves it, but I do want to mention the help I have received from Holly Case, Mary Neuburger, John Connelly, Padraic Kenney, Norman Naimark, Martha Lampland, Jonathan Zatlin, Paulina Bren, Brad Abrams, Andrea Orzoff, György (Gyuri) Péteri, Bruce Berglund, Paul Hanebrink, Karl Hall, Kimberly Elman Zarecor, Eagle Glassheim, Irina Gigova, and Pieter Judson. Mark Pittaway, who died all too soon just before I finished this book, was a source of constant inspiration and enthusiasm for all of us who seek to understand the history of everyday life in socialist society. Like so many others, I will always miss his generosity, vitality, insight, and friendship.
I owe a tremendous debt to the advisers and friends at the University of Michigan who helped me launch this project. John V. A. Fine Jr., a wonderful mentor in every sense of the word, was always there to offer me his superb guidance, his inexhaustible warmth, camaraderie, and Menschlichkeit, his masterful command of Balkan historiography, and his profound feeling for the intricacies of the Yugoslav experience, along with remarkable latitude and freedom to frame the project and the argument as I judged best. Raymond Grew, as ever, encouraged me in the toughest, friendliest, liveliest, and most helpful way, pushing me to try to write a history that would be big and ambitious and durable, challenging me to conceptualize Yugoslavia’s consumer culture on my own terms, and at the same time making sure that I was (p.x) alert to the temptations of interpretative overreach. I have always prospered by relying on Brian Porter-Szűcs for his sharp critical eye and his attention to the interpretative problems that matter most in our field; his sense for the historiographical questions and controversies that have made for good work on Eastern Europe and the Balkans is unmatched. Zvi Gitelman, with his inimitable sparkle, gave me a great model to try to live up to in my own work and proved especially artful at nudging me to make my arguments more economical, more clear, and more tightly connected to the larger arcs of East European history and politics. Others at Michigan were incredibly valuable, too. Stephanie Platz and Fran Blouin were always there with a real concern for both my present and my future. Rashi Jackman, Meghan Hays, and Donna Parmalee were great companions who continually enriched my understanding of the Yugoslavs and the Balkans. And Janet Crayne was not just an indispensable guide to Balkan sources but a great friend as well. All of these people, and many others, helped me no end.
I have been fortunate to have colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, who have been unfailingly supportive, but I should single out Frank Biess, David Luft, Bob Edelman, and Tom Gallant for their guidance, their wisdom, their encouragement, their keen critical sense, and their very useful suggestions for improving my work. In ways too numerous to mention, Ann Craig, Steve Cassedy, and Mollie Martinek kept me moving along and saw to it that I would be able to make a lasting and happy home here. Cathy Gere, Ev Meade, Armin Owzar, Matthew Herbst, Heidi Keller-Lapp, and Nancy Kwak have done double duty as intellectual comrades and good friends. Susan Sullivan Nakigane has proved a delight as a student, sounding board, and interlocutor. The tenacious and talented research assistance I have received from Nataša Garić-Humphrey has been invaluable.
My research went forward smoothly thanks to the very helpful staffs of academic institutions across the former Yugoslavia: in Belgrade, the Arhiv Jugoslavije, the Narodna Biblioteka Srbije, and the Muzej Grada Beograda; in Zagreb, the Hrvatski Državni Arhiv and the Nacionalna i Sveučilišna Knjižnica; and in Ljubljana, the Muzej Novejše Zgodovine, the Inštitut za Novejšo Zgodovino, the Inštitut za Narodnostna Vprašanja, the Arhiv Republike Slovenije, and the Narodna in Univerzitetna Knjižnica. Ivanka Ponikvar and the staff of the American Center in Ljubljana ensured that my time there as a Fulbright scholar was both profitable and pleasurable. My work abroad was made much more successful through the assistance and advice given by Rudi Rizman, Jože Vogrinc, Miha Javornik, Mitja Žagar, and Jerneja Petrič, and I am grateful to Maca Jogan, Janez Damjan, Zlatko Jančič, Alenka Puhar, and Jana Novak for sharing their perspectives on Yugoslav commercial promotion and consumer culture. Special thanks are owed to Borislav Buca Mitrović, who got in touch with me after seeing his own work cited in one of my earlier articles and, over the course of a (p.xi) number of delightful conversations in Belgrade, shared with me his deep personal understanding of the day-to-day practice of Yugoslav advertising and marketing, a real insider’s perspective that I could not have hoped to get otherwise.
Portions of the material in chapter 3 can be found in modified form in a previous publication: “Truth Half Told: Finding the Perfect Pitch for Advertising and Marketing in Socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–1991,” Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History 4, no. 2 (June 2003): 179–225. I thank Oxford Journals and Enterprise & Society for allowing me to reprint this material here.
Unless otherwise noted, all translations from foreign languages in this book are mine. I thank Paul Shoup for directing me toward Matija Bećković’s revealing meditations on the contemporary Yugoslav condition. For an alternative translation of Bećković’s “On Yugoslavs,” see Matija Bećković and Dušan Radović, Che: A Permanent Tragedy/Random Targets, trans. Drenka Willen (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970), 75–77, at 75–76; the sensitive translation and reading in Sharon Zukin, Beyond Marx and Tito: Theory and Practice in Yugoslav Socialism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 112–114; and the references in Dusko Doder, The Yugoslavs (New York: Random House, 1978), 60. My understanding of Bećković’s essay is indebted to these interpreters.
Research and publication expenses were funded with the generous support of postdoctoral grants and fellowships from the National Research Competition of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), the Southeast European Studies Program of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and the Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program of the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). The color illustrations in this volume were made possible by the anonymous founder of the UC San Diego Dean of Arts and Humanities Fund for Innovation and by Chris and Warren Hellman, sponsors of UC San Diego’s Hellman Fellowships. Additional support for earlier stages of my research came from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship program, the UC San Diego Faculty Career Development Program, the Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grants of the American Historical Association, the Ministry for Education, Science, and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia, and the University of Michigan’s Rackham Predoctoral Fellowships, Mellon Candidacy Fellowships, and Regents’ Fellowships. Grants from the Business History Conference and the Center for Russian and East European Studies at Stanford University offered me valuable opportunities to present the work in its formative phases. And there will always be a special place in my heart for the University of Virginia, which funded my early work in Serbo-Croatian with a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship back in 1987, during my final year of law school, and thereby nurtured the fascination with Yugoslavia and its people that would, in the end, pull me away from a (p.xii) decade-long career in legal work and put me on the path that I have found so rewarding. I extend my warmest thanks to each of these sponsors.
The book came together seamlessly and quickly thanks to the outstanding work of the staff at Cornell University Press. I have been fortunate beyond my greatest hopes to have John Ackerman as my editor, and his sure judgment and invariably useful critical comments, along with those so carefully and generously provided by the anonymous readers of my manuscript, have made my account much, much better. Karen Laun and Rita Bernhard saw to it that the preparation of the final text was as smooth as possible, and I have been fortunate to rely on Bruce Tindall here in San Diego for expert indexing.
My friends and family have been a wonderful source of encouragement and happiness throughout the process of writing this book. Hyder Patterson, Wilma Patterson, Carole Knight, Jane Hobbs, and the late Ersa Patterson were with me from the beginning. Clark Hantzmon, Bob Geraci, and Daniel Deudney were more than just friends, helping me from the start to think more creatively about the project. I am also thankful for the support I have received from many other friends as well, and among them I must single out Susan Larsen, Jane Rhodes, Lynn Hudson, Gary Phillips, Cynthia Chris, Miles Kahler, Steven Schwarz, Igor Koršič, Jani Bačnik, Dejan Rebernik, Iztok Božič, Matjaž Marinč, and Sašo Štravs. And, as always, I owe the most to Michael Gorman.
To all these people, I am grateful. Much of the credit for this enterprise is rightly theirs; all the errors are my own.