Books on Bulgarian Themes, March 2016

Recommended books

Remembrance, History, and Justice

"On February 1, 1945, death sentences were issued for the three regents, twenty-two ministers, sixty-seven members of parliament, forty-seven army generals and colonels. They were executed on the same day. Most of their relatives were resettled in different parts of the country and were persecuted as enemies of the people."
This is the record of one day only of the crimes of the communist rule between 1944 and 1989. The terror of the so called People's Courts, the brutal treatment of the democratic opposition, the purges and the terror of Stalinization, and so on-all these stepped out of the realms of silence and triggered public demands for a proper historical evaluation after the fall of the regime in 1989. Some of the labor camps continued to exist into the late 1980s, among others, as destinations for Bulgarian Turks who protested against the violent change of their names.
Remembrance of the victims of the communist rule nowadays oscillates between revisionist claims and politics of neglect.

Art beyond Borders

"Bulgarian art did not imitate Western art, but confidently followed its own path-that of socialist realism" - concluded the Bulgarian commissioner at the 1964 Venice Biennial 1964.
As an authority of the field points out, not without grounds, "there has never been any real thaw in Bulgaria. There were no alternative art groups and alternative art. There were no Bulgarian participants in art networks of artistic exchange that provided alternatives to the official channels."
Decorativism was manifested under the auspices of the declared tradition. Every time doubts were cast, from the positions of the official ideology, over the realistic character of the graphic images, the critical discourse referred to the "democratic" and "national" traditions.
A bit late, the founding of the International Graphic Arts Biennial in Varna in 1981 became the first and only forum in Bulgaria from the time of the rule of the Communist Party that presented a wide range of artistic tendencies and artists without proclaimed thematic and form and style restrictions.
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • A rich panoply of remembrances of the communist era;
  • 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.
Remembrance, History, and Justice – Coming to terms with traumatic pasts in democratic societies, Tismaneanu / Iacob, 516 pages, 2015, 978-963-386-092-2 cloth
Art beyond Borders – Artistic exchange in communist Europe (1945-1989), Bazin / Glatigny / Piotrowski, 520 pages, 2016, 978-963-386-083-0 cloth
Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770-1945 

Vol. I. Late Enlightenment – Emergence of the modern ‘national idea’, Trencsényi / Kopeèek, 362 pages, 2006, 978-963-7326-52-3 cloth

Vol. II. National Romanticism – Formation of national movements, Trencsényi / Kopeèek, 508 pages, 2007, 978-963-7326-60-8 cloth
Vol. III/1. Modernism – The creation of nation-states, Ersoy / Górny / Kechriotis, 496 pages, 2010, 978-963-7326-61-5 cloth
Vol. III/2. Modernism – Representations of national culture, Ersoy / Górny / Kechriotis, 398 pages, 2010, 978-963-7326-64-6 cloth
Vol. IV. Anti-Modernism – Radical revisions of collective identity, Mishkova / Turda / Trencsényi, 452 pages, 2014, 978-963-7326-62-2 cloth
Entangled Paths Towards Modernity – Contextualizing socialism and nationalism in the Balkans, Dimou, A., 450 pages, 2009, 978-963-9776-38-8 cloth
Demography and Nation – Social legislation and population policy in Bulgaria, 1918-1944, Baloutzova, 250 pages, 2010, 978-963-9776-66-1 cloth
Balkan Family Structure and the European Pattern – Demographic developments in Ottoman Bulgaria, Todorova, M., 264 pages, 2006, 978-963-7326-45-5 cloth
Bones of Contention – The living archive of Vasil Levski and the making of Bulgaria’s national hero, Todorova, M., 622 pages + 16 pages illustrations, 2009, 978-963-9776-24-1 cloth; 978-615-5053-09-2 paperback 370 pages (ca. 40 illustrations, abridged version of the cloth edition)

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

Debating the Past – Modern Bulgarian history from Stambolov to Zhivkov, Daskalov, R., 376 pages, 2011, 978-615-5053-00-9 cloth
Hot Books in the Cold War – The CIA-funded secret western book distribution program behind the Iron Curtain, Reisch, A., 570 pages, 2013, 978-615-5225-23-9 cloth
Shifting Obsessions – Three essays on the politics of anti-corruption, Krastev, I., 136 pages, 2004, 210mm x 120 mm (8.2″ x 4.69″) 978-963-9241-94-7 paperback

Accidental Occidental – Economics and culture of transition in Mitteleuropa, the Baltic and the Balkan area, BokrosL., 204 pages, 978-615-5225-24-6 cloth

Party Colonisation of the Media in Central and Eastern EuropeBajomi-Lázár, P., 290 pages, 2014, 978-963-386-041-0, cloth
On Baltic Slovenia and Adriatic Lithuania – A qualitative comparative analysis of patterns in post-communist transformation, Norkus, Z., 375 pages, 16 illustrations (charts, photo etc.), 2012, 978-615-5053-50-4 cloth
Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770-1945 – Texts and commentaries, Trencsényi et al. eds. Volumes I-IV, 2006-2014, 978-963-7326-51-6 ö cloth
Witchcraft Mythologies and Persecutions – Demons, Spirits, Witches – Volume 3, Pócs / Klaniczay, 360 pages, 2008, 978-963-7326-87-5 cloth
We, the People – Politics of national peculiarity in Southeastern Europe, Mishkova, D., 392 pages, 2009, 978-963-9776-28-9 cloth
Ideologies and National Identities – The case of twentieth-century southeastern Europe, Lampe / Mazower, 320 pages, 2003, 978-963-9241-72-5 cloth; 978-963-9241-82-4 paperback
Biographical Dictionary of Women’s Movements and Feminisms, A – Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th centuries, De Haan / Daskalova / Loutfi, 700 pages, 2006, 978-963-7326-39-4 cloth
Races to Modernity – Metropolitan aspirations in Eastern Europe 1890-1940, Behrends / Kohlrausch, 380 pages, 2014, 978-963-386-035-9 cloth
Blood and Homeland – Eugenics and racial nationalism in central and southeast Europe, 1900-1940, Turda / Weindling, 478 pages, 2007, 978-963-7326-77-6 cloth; 978-963-7326-81-3 paperback
Stalinism Revisited – The establishment of communist regimes in East-Central Europe,

Tismaneanu V.452 pages, 2009, 978-963-9776-55-5 cloth; 978-963-9776-63-0 paperback

Cold War Broadcasting – Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Johnson / Parta, 610 pages, 2010, 978-963-9776-80-7 cloth
The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare – The Cold War organizations sponsored by the National Committee for a Free Europe / Free Europe Committee, Kádár Lynn, K., 610 pages, 2013, 978-0-9859433-0-1 cloth
Under Eastern Eyes – A comparative introduction to East European travel writing on Europe, East Looks West – Volume 2, Bracewell / Drace-Francis, 400 pages, 2008, 978-963-9776-11-1 cloth
Christianity and Modernity in Eastern EuropeBerglund / Porter-Szucs, 402 pages, 2010, 978-963-9776-65-4 cloth

Promises of 1968 – Crisis, illusion, and utopia, Tismaneanu, V., 460 pages, 2011, 978-615-5053-04-7 cloth

The End and the Beginning – The revolutions of 1989 and the resurgence of history, Tismaneanu / Iacob, 520 pages, 2012, 978-615-5053-65-8 cloth
Masterpieces of History – The peaceful end of the cold war in Europe, 1989 – National Security Archive Cold War Reader, Savranskaya / Blanton / Zubok, 782 pages, 2010, 978-963-9776-77-7 cloth ; 978-615-5053-40-5 paperback
Narratives Unbound – Historical studies in post-Communist Eastern Europe, Antohi / Apor / Trencsényi, 514 pages, 2007, 978-963-7326-85-1 cloth
Past for the Eyes – East European representations of Communism in cinema and museums after 1989, Sarkisova / Apor, 436 pages, 30 photos, 2008, 978-963-9776-03-6 cloth

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

Remembering Communism – Private and public recollections of lived experience in Southeast Europe, Todorova / Dimou / Troebst, 640 pages, 2014, 978-96 3-386-034-2 cloth
Green Barons, Force-of-Circumstance Entrepreneurs, Impotent Mayors – Rural change in the early years of post-socialist capitalist democracy, Swain, N., 2013, 412 pages, 978-615-5225-70-3 cloth
Capitalism from Outside? – Economic cultures in Eastern Europe after 1989, Zentai / Kovács, 360 pages, 2012,978-615-5211-33-1 cloth
Media Freedom and Pluralism – Media policy challenges in the enlarged Europe, Klimkiewicz, B., 362 pages, 2010, 978-963-9776-73-9 cloth