In the first authoritative biography of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, Adam LeBor documents the life of a man whose policies instigated four wars, who skilfully exploited the most modern techniques of media management to whip up a nationalist frenzy, and under whose rule bloody campaigns of ethnic cleansing systematically destroyed a once sophisticated multi-national country.

With unrivalled access to many of those closest to Milosevic since his rise to power - including his wife Mira Markovic, brother Borislav and former political allies - Adam draws the most complex picture of Milosevic yet. He reveals a family history of deep unhappiness that shaped the ruthless leader he later became. He describes Milosevic's all-important marriage to Mira, who offered him an entree into the highest circles of Yugoslavia's political elite, and explores Milosevic's key relationship with his best friend Ivan Stambolic, who first introduced him to the world of international banking - making contacts that Milosevic would later use to finance his wars - and whom he would later oust in a ruthless act of political betrayal.