Tito’s Secret Empire

How the Maharaja of the Balkans Fooled the World

February 2021 9781787383142 352pp
EU Customers


This groundbreaking biography of Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia presents many startling new revelations, among them his role as an international revolutionary leader and his relationship with Winston Churchill. It highlights his early years as a Comintern operative, the context for his later politics as a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The authors argue that in the 1940s, between the dissolution of the Comintern and the rise of NAM, Tito’s influence and ambition were far greater than has been understood, extending to Italy, France, Greece and Spain via the international Communist networks established during the Spanish Civil War. Klinger and Kuljiš disclose for the first time the connection between Tito’s expulsion from the Cominform and the Rome assassination attempt on the Italian Communist Party leader, Palmiro Togliatti—the man who had plotted to overthrow Tito.

Tito’s Secret Empire offers a pivotal contribution to our understanding of Tito as a figure of real, rather than imagined, global significance. This dazzlingly original book will reward all those who are interested in the history of international Communism, the Cold War and the Non-Aligned Movement, or in Tito the man—one of the most significant leaders of the twentieth century.


‘Readers can expect some serious myth-busting… The strength of this book lies not in … grand speculations, but in its sharp detail.’ — The Telegraph

‘A welcome re-appraisal of a cruel, charismatic and opaque figure who, for a time, bent the rest of the world to his will.’ — The Critic

‘A fascinating, highly readable and groundbreaking contribution to our understanding of Tito, suggesting that his power and ambitions in the 1940s stretched much wider than has been assumed previously.’ — Marko Hoare, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, and author of The History of Bosnia

‘A compelling, provocative, and polemical examination of Tito’s tenure and his position within the Cold War political (dis)order.’ — Jasmin Mujanović, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Elon University, and author of Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans

‘Stripping away the nostalgia surrounding Tito, this meticulously researched book offers an unsparing re-appraisal of his life and contribution to the revolutionary climate of the twentieth century. While insightfully analysing the Yugoslav leader’s imperial ambitions, it debunks myths around Tito’s Partisans’ role in taking Belgrade in 1944.’ — Elizabeth Roberts, Balkan scholar, former diplomat, and author of The Realm of the Black Mountain: A History of Montenegro


The late William Klinger was a historian of the Balkans; he died in 2015.

Denis Kuljiš was a renowned liberal Croatian journalist. With his partners, he founded Media Press, a company that launched the influential independent political weekly Globus. He died in August 2019.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.