Books on Bulgarian Themes, August 2017
Muslim Land, Christian Labor
The issue of land ownership is in the focus of the analysis of three-quarters of a century in Bulgaria, especially in its southern region that existed as a quasi-sovereign state of Eastern-Rumelia between 1878 and 1908. Dramatic changes had begun by the promulgation of the Land Code of the Ottoman Empire in 1858 and received new dimensions after the Russo-Ottoman War.Mirkova explores how and why Muslim lands were transferred to Bulgarian Christians, including what happened to agricultural lands that belonged to vakýfs (pious-charitable endowments.The book opens a different lens to this process of identity formation in the transition from empire to nation. "The period spanning the late nineteenth century until the outbreak of the Second World War was decisive both for the articulation of 'minority' as a political category and for inscribing Muslims onto the matrix of national citizenship in Christian majority states."
Of Red Dragons and Evil Spirits
"The amendments of the Bulgarian Criminal Code introduced between 1990 and 1993 were exclusively meant to eliminate politically motivated punishments rather than introduce new rules applicable to perpetrators of the communist repressions." Even today, "there is an air of quasi-reconciliationism based on avoidance, without the confession, apology, and forgiveness needed for a real reconciliation."Developments in post-communist memory politics in Bulgaria are discussed in a comparative collection."The confronting of the Holocaust has been happening in Bulgaria at two gears: faster and more adequately in research, slowly and controversially in the politics of memory.""The leftist voices stressed the deportation of the Jews from Macedonia and Thrace, insisting on the fascist nature of the regime, the right wing focused on the rescue of the Jews from the 'old territories'."
The Last Superpower Summits
Gorbachev:Mr. President, you say that the English and French missiles are not defending West Germany. Well, who will defend the GDR? And Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria? Who will defend them? That argument does not work. October 1986Face to face conversations of superpower leaders on 1000 pages.Memorandum from Scowcroft for President Bush: The message that you bring to the Poles will be watched throughout Eastern Europe, particularly in Hungary. But even Czechoslovakia, the GDR and Bulgaria, which have resisted reform, are aware that you have succeeded in forging a common strategy for the West that links economic assistance to fundamental economic and political reform. June 1989Gorbachev: I promise you that tomorrow there will be talk of Poland's western territories, about Transylvania, Macedonia. About a million Turks live in Bulgaria. In a word, if we do not keep the issue of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders under control, chaos will break out from which we will never extricate ourselves. July 1991
- A book of comparative intellectual history discusses how socialist ideology emerged as an option of political modernity in the Balkans.
- The series in the history of medicine starts with a Bulgarian monograph on social legislation and population policy in the interwar period.
- The author of the now classic Balkan Family Structure, dedicated a large volume to the analysis of the posthumous fate of Vasil Levski, of which an abridged paperback version was also published;
- How the Bulgarian Revival was instrumentalized for political purposes in the 20th century;
- An analyis of Bulgarian history writing focusing on the time span between Stambolov and Zhivkov;
- Bulgaria was also targeted by the book distribution program of the CIA since the 1950s;
- A book on anti-corruption policies by a renown Bulgarian social scientist;
- A study of the political economy of transition from command to market economy;
- A comparative review of the control of political parties over the media in Eastern Europe;
- Together with twenty-eight more post-communist transition countries, the political and economic performance of Bulgaria is also examined as part of a search of varieties of transition models.
- The four-volume undertaking quotes and comments specimens from texts that shaped national identities in eastern Europe. Besides the “Memorandum of the Secret Central Bulgarian Committee” (1867) Bulgaria is represented by Neofit Rilski (1835), Beron (1855), Zografski (1858), Botev (1871 and 1876), Verkovich (1874), Marinov (1891), Gologanov (1891), Vazov (1894), Konstantinov (1895), Kyorchev (1907), Strashimirov (1918), Penev (1930), Mutafchiev (1931), Janev (1933), Hadzhiyski (1938), and Sheytanov (1942);
- Witches and priests in the Bulgarian village are analyzed in the series on demons and spirits;
- 19th c. textbooks and journals are scrutinized for the presentation of Bulgarian identity; the same issue is approached from 19th c. studies on “race” in another essay; and Bulgarians will read with interest the description of the paths of Macedonian supra-nationalism a hundred years ago;
- Still with regard to national identity, a study discusses common heroes and divided claims between Macedonia and Bulgaria, while in the same book an essay treats sounds and noise in socialist Bulgaria;
- The handbook of biographies contains entries on the following Bulgarians: Blagoeva, Ivanova, Karamichailova, Karavelov, Karavelova, Karima, Konova, Malinova, Zlatareva, and Zlatoustova;
- Straight Haussmannian boulevards drawn in Sofia in the frame of European town-planning;
- The book on eugenics in east and central Europe presents the subject in the interwar Bulgaria;
- Exploring the development of ethnic diversity and national tensions in the Balkans;
- In the volume on the expansion of Stalinism Bulgaria received a separate chapter next to other variants in east Europe;
- The analysis of the impact of Radio Free Europe also covers Bulgaria at detail;
- The US government kept sponsoring the émigré Bulgarian National Committee under the umbrella of the Assembly of Captive European Nations until the very end of the Cold War.
- Images of the west are being explored in Bulgarian travel writing during socialism;
- The treatment of religion under communism through the case of Vanga, a mystic prophetess;
- Artistic interactions within the Soviet bloc and with the west between 1945 and 1989;
- The Bulgarian legacy of 1968 is essentially exemplified by Zhivkov’s urging Brezhnev “the sooner troops are sent (to Czechoslovakia) the better;”
- A fresh interpretation of the contexts, meanings, and consequences of the revolutions of 1989 contains numerous references to Bulgaria;
- The seminal CEU Press title on the collapse of Soviet domination
- The analysis of today’s history writing between academic standards and political agendas;
- An essay discusses the “museumizing” of the socialist past in post-1989 Bulgaria;
- The idea of the desegregation of Romani education originated in Vidin. An account on how far the process has progressed across Eastern Europe;
- The six-country comparative sociological research includes Bulgarian village studies of post-communist rural transformation;
- “The Bulgarians don’t object if they disagree, especially if they disagree with the authority”-on how East-European mindset adapts to capitalism;
- Measures to protect Bulgarian children from the adverse effects of television is the last item to mention.
Of Red Dragons and Evil Spirits – Post-communist historiography between democratization and new politics of history, Luthar, O., 256 pages, 2017, 978-963-386-151-6 cloth
The Making of a Nation in the Balkans – Historiography of the Bulgarian Revival, Daskalov, R., 296 pages, 2004, ISBN 978-963-9241-83-1 cloth
Tismaneanu V.452 pages, 2009, 978-963-9776-55-5 cloth; 978-963-9776-63-0 paperback
Ten Years After – A history of Roma school desegregation in Central and Eastern Europe, Rostas, J., 392 pages, 2012, ISBN 978-615-5053-13-9, cloth