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Bai Ganyo

Incredible Tales of a Modern Bulgarian

Aleko Konstantinov

A comic classic of world literature, Aleko Konstantinov’s 1895 novel Bai Ganyo follows the misadventures of rose-oil salesman Ganyo Balkanski (“Bai” is a Bulgarian title of intimate respect) as he travels in Europe. Unkempt but endearing, Bai Ganyo blusters his way through refined society in Vienna, Dresden, and St. Petersburg with an eye peeled for pickpockets and a free lunch. Konstantinov’s satire turns darker when Bai Ganyo returns home—bullying, bribing, and rigging elections in Bulgaria, a new country that had recently emerged piecemeal from the Ottoman Empire with the help of Czarist Russia.
    Bai Ganyo has been translated into most European languages, but now Victor Friedman and his fellow translators have finally brought this Balkan masterpiece to English-speaking readers, accompanied by a helpful introduction, glossary, and notes.
 
Winner, Bulgarian Studies Association Book Prize
 
Finalist, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year in the Fiction-Multicultural category

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Balkan Anschluss

The Annexation of Montenegro and the Creation of the Common South Slavic State

by Srdja Pavlovic´

Balkan Anschluss tackles the thorny issue of the disappearance of Montenegro as a sovereign state in the course of and as a result of the First World War, a problem with clear contemporary relevance. In particular, Pavlovic investigates the ambiguous and often troubled relationship between two "Serb states," Montenegro and Serbia.

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Balkan Family Structure and the European Pattern

Demographic Developments in Ottoman Bulgaria

By Maria m. Todorova

This study, which is an updated, extended, and revised version of the out-of-print 1993 edition, reassesses the traditional stereotype of the place of the Balkans in the model of the European family in the nineteenth century on the basis of new source material and by synthesizing existing research. The work first analyzes family structure and demographic variables as they appear in population registers and other sources, and the impact of these findings on theoretical syntheses of the European family pattern. On most features, such as population structure, marriage and nuptiality, birth and fertility, death and mortality rates, family and household size and structure, as well as inheritance patterns, the Balkans show an enormous deal of internal variety. This variability is put in a comparative European context by matching the quantifiable results with comparable figures and patterns in other parts of Europe. The second section of the book is a contribution to the long-standing debate over the zadruga, the complex, collective, joint or extended family in the Balkans. Finally, the book considers ideology and mythology and the ways it has adversely affected scholarship on the family, and broadly on population history.

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Balkan Smoke

Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria

by Mary C. Neuburger

In Balkan Smoke, Mary Neuburger leads readers along the Bulgarian-Ottoman caravan routes and into the coffeehouses of Istanbul and Sofia. She reveals how a remote country was drawn into global economic networks through tobacco production and consumption and in the process became modern. In writing the life of tobacco in Bulgaria from the late Ottoman period through the years of Communist rule, Neuburger gives us much more than the cultural history of a commodity; she provides a fresh perspective on the genesis of modern Bulgaria itself.

The tobacco trade comes to shape most of Bulgaria's international relations; it drew Bulgaria into its fateful alliance with Nazi Germany and in the postwar period Bulgaria was the primary supplier of smokes (the famed Bulgarian Gold) for the USSR and its satellites. By the late 1960s Bulgaria was the number one exporter of tobacco in the world, with roughly one eighth of its population involved in production.

Through the pages of this book we visit the places where tobacco is grown and meet the merchants, the workers, and the peasant growers, most of whom are Muslim by the postwar period. Along the way, we learn how smoking and anti-smoking impulses influenced perceptions of luxury and necessity, questions of novelty, imitation, value, taste, and gender-based respectability. While the scope is often global, Neuburger also explores the politics of tobacco within Bulgaria. Among the book's surprises are the ways in which conflicts over the tobacco industry (and smoking) help to clarify the forbidding quagmire of Bulgarian politics.

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Barbarossa 1941

Reframing Hitler's Invasion of Stalin's Soviet Empire

Ellis argues that even though the Barbarossa campaign has already been covered in great detail there is now plenty of declassified Soviet material which has not been fully processed by Western historians and some new German sources that merit a new in-depth examination.

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Beautiful Twentysomethings

Beautiful Twentysomethings is a vivid firsthand account of the life of Marek Hlasko, a young writer whose iconoclastic way of life became an inspiration in 1950s Poland. Detailing relationships with such giants of Polish culture as the filmmaker Roman Polanski and the novelist Jerzy Andrzejewski, this memoir recounts his adventures and misadventures abroad in the postwar era. When he was recalled to Poland in 1958, Hlasko refused to return and was stripped of his Polish citizenship. He spent the rest of his life working in exile. A fascinating portrait from the short-lived rebel generation, Ross Ufberg deftly renders Hlasko's wry and passionate voice with grit and a morbid humor

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Becoming Muslim in Imperial Russia

Conversion, Apostasy, and Literacy

by Agnès Nilüfer Kefeli

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Becoming Soviet Jews

The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk

Elissa Bemporad

Minsk, the present capital of Belarus, was a heavily Jewish city in the decades between the world wars. Recasting our understanding of Soviet Jewish history, Becoming Soviet Jews demonstrates that the often violent social changes enforced by the communist project did not destroy continuities with prerevolutionary forms of Jewish life in Minsk. Using Minsk as a case study of the Sovietization of Jews in the former Pale of Settlement, Elissa Bemporad reveals the ways in which many Jews acculturated to Soviet society in the 1920s and 1930s while remaining committed to older patterns of Jewish identity, such as Yiddish culture and education, attachment to the traditions of the Jewish workers' Bund, circumcision, and kosher slaughter. This pioneering study also illuminates the reshaping of gender relations on the Jewish street and explores Jewish everyday life and identity during the years of the Great Terror.

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Belorussia

Under Soviet Rule, 1917--1957

Ivan S. Lubachko

Few European nations are so little known to the world at large as Belorussia. For centuries this Eastern European country has served as a pawn in the power plays of predatory neighbors. In this, the first detailed study of Belorussia's recent history, the author depicts the successive invasions of German, Polish, and Russian armies in two world wars and the upheavals stemming from the Russian Revolution.

The Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, established in 1919, progressed culturally, educationally, and economically during Lenin's lifetime. Under Stalin, however, her leaders were liquidated in a series of purges, and hundreds of thousands of her people were shot or exiled to Siberia. Thousands more died in the famine that followed the forced collectivization of agriculture. Although Stalin gained the admission of Belorussia to the United Nations, the author concludes that Russian hegemony over Belorussia is as complete today under the Communists as it was for a century under the tsars.

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Between Dictatorship and Democracy

Russian Post-Communist Political Reform

Michael McFaul, Nikolai Petrov, and Andrei Ryabov

For hundreds of years, dictators have ruled Russia. Do they still? In the late 1980s, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev launched a series of political reforms that eventually allowed for competitive elections, the emergence of an independent press, the formation of political parties, and the sprouting of civil society. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, these proto-democratic institutions endured in an independent Russia. But did the processes unleashed by Gorbachev and continued under Russian President Boris Yeltsin lead eventually to liberal democracy in Russia? If not, what kind of political regime did take hold in post-Soviet Russia? And how has Vladimir Putin's rise to power influenced the course of democratic consolidation or the lack thereof? Between Dictatorship and Democracy seeks to give a comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions about the nature of Russian politics.

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