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Prime Minister for Peace

My Struggle for Serbian Democracy

Milan Panic - With Kevin C. Murphy

In this remarkable memoir, Milan Panic tells the formerly unknown story of his attempts to oust Slobodan Milosevic and his battles with the U.S. State Department in an effort to bring peace to the Balkans during the Yugoslav Wars. A young cycling champion who fought the Nazi occupation in Yugoslavia with Tito’s partisans, Panic defected after World War II from his now-communist country to start a new life in the United States. But his greatest challenge still lay ahead when he was invited to serve as prime minister of Yugoslavia. But in Belgrade, ancient enmities and suspicions festered, and the threat of tragedy and bloodshed loomed large as ethnic conflict raged. And even as Panic implored the West for support, he would have to outwit the machinations of a wily Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic. Including behind-the-scenes details of his rivalry with Milosevic, this book is a compelling chronicle of the road to peace in the Balkans. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 232Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-4362-0 • Hardback • March 2015 • $34.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4422-4363-7 • eBook • March 2015 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
Milan Panic, who was born in Belgrade in 1929, served as prime minister of Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1993. During his tenure, he became an important figure on the world stage with his pivotal participation in the London Conference on Yugoslavia in August 1992, his address to the United Nations General Assembly (the “Speech of Peace”) the following month, and his appearance before the parliament of the European Union in Brussels. In December 1992, the Wall Street Journal named him one of the “Europeans of the Year.”

After his tenure as prime minister ended, Panic continued to play an active role in the democratization of Serbia and former Yugoslav republics. In 1995, he was instrumental in initiating and organizing the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Panic is chairman and CEO of MP Biomedicals, formerly ICN Biomedicals. He was founder and former chairman of ICN Pharmaceuticals, now known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a multibillion-dollar company he launched in 1959 with $200.

Mr. Panic’s ongoing philanthropic contributions support various universities, research programs, museums, political causes, and charities, as well as international relief organizations for humanitarian aid in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and other parts of the world.
Dramatis Personae
Foreword by Bill Press
Prologue by Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 1: A Balkan Youth
Chapter 2: The Making of an American
Chapter 3: A Nation Comes Apart
Chapter 4: A Damn Fool Idea
Chapter 5: Mr. Prime Minister
Chapter 6: Searching For Help
Chapter 7: Battling the Past
Chapter 8: Coup D’Etat in Belgrade
Chapter 9: Taking on Slobo
Chapter 10: Coming to Terms
Chapter 11: A Turning Point
Chapter 12: Trouble in Kosovo
Chapter 13: Finally, Good News

What Happened To?
About the Authors
The recent publication of Milan Panic’s memoirs provides an interesting perspective on Belgrade’s perception of the Bosnian war. . . .Milan Panic’s memoirs provide a perspective of an outsider who was briefly at the core of Serbian politics. . . .Panic’s memoirs are useful in assembling the various perspectives of different actors in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Europe-Asia Studies

For Panić—an ambitious and practical man, primarily interested in democracy and the economic prosperity of the post-Communist Balkans—the greatest puzzle remains the West’s decision to ignore his efforts and proposals during the crucial years of the Yugoslav conflict. If the Brussels and Washington administrations had indeed immediately identified Milošević as the one to blame, why was he allowed to stay in charge throughout the 1990s and orchestrate some of the worst atrocities in post-Second World War Europe? Was the Yugoslav case viewed as a good geopolitical experiment in the new post-Cold War context or as an excellent business opportunity for, let’s speculate, arms manufacturers? With this in mind, Panić’s account is an invitation for additional analyses, either in the form of other balanced memoirs or well-sustained scholarly contributions.
Slavonic & East European Review

As a young man, Milan Panic fought to free Yugoslavia from Nazi rule. Later in life, he fought to free Yugoslavia from the brutal dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic. In between, he became an American citizen and built a multi-million-dollar global company. His exciting, action-filled life story embodies the American dream.
California Governor Jerry Brown

Milan Panic is one of the most courageous and committed individuals I have ever met. His life unfolds like a novel you can’t put down. His inspirational story captures some of the most important events of our time.
U.S. Senator Birch Bayh

In this provocative book, the remarkable rise of Milan Panic from modest circumstances to inspired business leader and courageous public servant is told with verve and style.
James Doti, president, Chapman University