History of Goli otok

  • Original language: Croatian

  • Pages: 640

  • Date of Publication: February 2019.

  • ISBN: 978-953266988-6

  • Type of Binding: hardback

  • Format: 234 mm

  • Weight: 1 000 g

Goli otok (Barren Island) was the only gulag-type prison that existed on the territory of Josip Broz Tito's Yugoslavia. It was formed in 1948, on a small, isolated island in the northern Adriatic, just after the Cominform Resolution and the famous breakup between Stalin and Tito. Its aim was to imprison and reeducate political opponents, mainly those who continued to support Stalin but also many of other “internal enemies” who opposed the regime. Its character of a political and labor camp changed in the middle of the 50’s when it was transformed into penitentiary intended for serving simple criminal sentences.

Martin Previšić’s History of Goli otok gives us, for the first time, a comprehensive and impartial account of Yugoslavian gulag, one of the most controversial parts of Yugoslavian history. 

Author’s study, with its in-depth exploration and presentation of archival material, various documents from federal secret police UDBA that were just recently made public, numerous testimonies from ex-convicts and former prison guards, is an invaluable contribution and obligatory literature about the darkest secrets of the Yugoslavian regime. By providing the detailed analysis of a complex prison system, Previšić skillfully combines the scientific precision of a historian with talent of accomplished narrator. With the great sense for people, their stories and dilemmas, Previšić makes authentic and accurate representation of the times, giving us the wider background for better understanding of the events and the way ideologies make terrible tragedies out of human’s lives.The book delivers many shocking testimonies that lead the reader through the stirring story of a prison camp, full of cruelty and violence, but those testimonies are never glorified or exploited. They are taken as necessary means in giving context and shedding new light on one of the turning points in history of socialist Yugoslavia, when it was on the path of becoming the leading country of Non-Aligned Movement at the peak of the Cold War.

“Martin Previšić is the first author who used the abundance of archival material just recently made public in Zagreb and Belgrade, which, in addition to numerous interviews he conducted with former convicts, gives us a precise and accurate account of the prison system that was installed on the Goli otok. This is the book that offers one of the first archive-based insight into the political and social history of post WWII Yugoslavia and sets a high standard for any future explorations of the theme.” Ivo Banac, prof. dr, author of The National Question in Yugoslavia.

Rights sold to:
Slovenia, Mladinska knjiga 

Predstavljanje knjige Povijest Golog otoka Martina Previšića
7. 2. 2019., Novinarski dom, Zagreb 

  1. Predavanje Martina Previšića na Stanfordu Predavanje Martina Previšića na Stanfordu The Shadow of 1948: Tito's Gulag – The Goli Otok (Barren Island) Labor Camp, 1949–1956 naziv je predavanja koje će Martin Previšić, autor knjige Povijest Golog otoka, održati na američkom sveučilištu Stanford  u petak 24. svibnja 2019. u 12 sati.