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Debating the Past

Modern Bulgarian Historiography—From Stambolov to Zhivkov

By Roumen Daskalov

Publication Year: 2011

The book is comprised of the four major debates on modern Bulgarian history from Independence in 1878 to the fall of communism in 1989. The debates are on the Bulgarian–Russian/Soviet relations, on the relations between Agrarians and Communists, on Bulgarian Fascism, and on Communism. They are associated with the rule of key political personalities in Bulgarian history: Stambolov (1887–1894), Stamboliiski (1919–1923), Tsar Boris III (1918–1943), and the communist leaders Georgi Dimitrov and Todor Zhivkov (1956–1989). The debates are traced through their various articulations and dramatic turns from their beginnings to the present day.

Published by: Central European University Press

Title page

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pp. i-iii

Copyright page

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pp. iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. 1-6

This book contains four historiographical studies, devoted to the most hotly debated issues of the history of Bulgaria from its liberation (1878) to the present that have engaged not only professional historians, but other scholars and the broader public as well. These are Stefan Stambolov’s dictatorship...

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CHAPTER 1: Stambolov, the Russophiles, and the Russophobes in Bulgaria

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pp. 7-86

On July 6, 1995, a monument of Bulgarian statesman Stefan Stambolov— representing only his head with a deep cut on it—was inaugurated in the garden in front of the Army Club in Sofia, on the spot where he was murdered 100 years before. Insofar as Stambolov had become a symbol...

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CHAPTER 2: The Rule of the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union and the “Worker-Peasant Alliance”

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pp. 87-144

More has been written on the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (Bulgarski zemedelski naroden suyuz, henceforth the Agrarian Union or simply Agrarians) than on any other party except for the Communist Party. This interest is no coincidence, even if the motives remain hidden. The Agrarian Union was a mass party...

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CHAPTER 3: The Debate on Fascism and the Anti-fascist Struggles

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pp. 145-222

Among the debated issues in Bulgarian historical scholarship, a central place is occupied by fascism and, closely connected with it, the antifascist struggles. In what follows I will trace the evolution of the debate: its initial formulation and further elaboration, changes in the rhetoric...

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CHAPTER 4: September Ninth, “People’s Democracy” and Socialism

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pp. 223-318

This essay traces the evolution of the views on the communist takeover in Bulgaria (September 9, 1944), the “people’s democracy” (1944–1948), and socialism for the duration of the regime and after its fall. The communist regime shaped and strictly controlled knowledge about itself, its genesis, and its past....

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CONCLUSION: The Truth and Objectivity Question in Bulgarian Historical Scholarship

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pp. 319-368

In what follows, I will review the concepts of “objectivity” and “truth” in Bulgarian historical scholarship on the basis of my historiographical research and observations. As will be seen, there is a great difference between theoretical-methodological statements and historiographical practice...


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pp. 369

back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9786155053535
Print-ISBN-13: 9786155053009

Page Count: 378
Publication Year: 2011