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Book review: Enver Hoxha: The Iron Fist of Albania by Blendi Fevziu

Translated by Robert Elsie

9781784534851IB Tauris, £25

Blendi Fevziu’s biography of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian ruler from 1941 to 1985, is the biggest-selling book in the history of the Balkan country. Remarkably little is known about the Le Monde-reading communist dictator who ruled with an “iron fist,” besides his cold-blooded temperament and cruelty.

The world view he imposed an entire country into isolation and reshaped it into a land in which “he was the sun.” Fevziu’s dispassionate approach—drawing on a large amount of archival material, correspondences and testimonies—paints a picture of a man plagued by feelings of…

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