Struggling against high odds, Yugoslavia managed to survive from its inception in 1918 until the early 1990s. But now, tragic ethnic and regional conflicts have irrevocably fragmented the country. In his timely book, Lenard Cohen explores the original conception and motives underlying the "Yugoslav idea,” looking at the state’s major problems, achievements, and failures during its short and troubled history.Cohen answers a broad range of questions concerning contemporary Yugoslavia: How did the state plunge from its position as a positive model to an essentially negative case of socialist reform? What measures for recovery were proposed by the country’s ethnically and regionally segmented one-party elite? What were the reasons for the eventual abandonment of reform socialism, the elimination of the single party’s monopoly, and the rapid delegitimation of the country’s federal political institutions? What programs have been offered by the noncommunist and "born again” communist leaders elected to power during the revival of multiparty pluralism in 1990? How did their efforts to achieve regional and ethnic sovereignty place the country in such a precarious and ultimately fatal position?The concluding chapters of the book offer an analysis of the causes and horrifying consequences of the military conflict and civil war from 1991 to 1994, including a discussion of the impotent efforts at peacekeeping, the dynamics of the complexand savage struggle in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and an examination of the problems faced by Yugoslavia’s successor states.