Your Custom Text Here
A banquet of a book, full of unexpected dishes.... Ghodsee writes with moral seriousness and exceptional force, and Red Hangover is the rare academic book that is compulsively readable and thoroughly compelling.
I have read and loved all Ghodsee’s books, each one more than the last. Red Hangover is the most complex, melding personal and professional experience with history and political theory....
Wonderful.... History looks very different if you fought for national liberation and human progress under the banner of Communism.... To understand ... modern Bulgarians ..., you must enter their world of human self-sacrifice.
Ghodsee turns Thompson’s life and the equally heroic story of three Bulgarian brothers and their 14-year-old sister, who were also part of the resistance, into a gentle, reflective exploration of the idealism that drove them, despite the barbarity that many communists had already glimpsed in Stalin’s Soviet Union.
Our ‘post-factual’ present is a moment of crisis, which renders it all the more crucial that scholars with deep knowledge of Eastern Europe be able to write for a wide audience. Kristen Ghodsee does this unusually well, with a good sense of pitch, appealing self-awareness, and the ability to conjure up the perfect ironic phrase. Her central argument is very provocative: Fukuyama’esque Western triumphalism has led us to the present catastrophic state of Europe—and perhaps of the United States of America as well. In my opinion the apocalyptic epilogue is fantastically cast—in part because I share the author’s creepy Weimaresque feeling. I hope she is wrong, but I fear she is right.
Kristen Ghodsee courageously confronts the liberal triumphalism that refuses to learn from seventy years of state socialism, acknowledge the tragic human costs of forced privatization, or recognize the gross inequities of capitalism. Her brilliant essays and stories provide a potent allegory of our present condition: the real cost of the continued demonization of socialism is democracy.
Kristen Ghodsee’s book about WWII-era Communism in Bulgaria is a fun, character-driven read.
A moving book.... History meets ethnography, all delivered in an absorbing, novelistic style.
Kristen Ghodsee has written an elegant book on a forbidden topic…. This book connects history and current conditions with a central theme: that there were idealists in the making and governing of communist Bulgaria, and that to some extent their ideals were realized, especially in regard to women’s rights…. The Left Side of History is a stimulating study and a delightful read.
The Left Side of History is a remarkable account of Bulgaria’s current history of triumph and despairs, wrapped in the aspirations, hopes, and tragic failures of humans. It is told with astute historical accuracy and striking intimacy concerning the personal stories of Bulgarian communist activists, as well as ordinary people whose lives were indelibly marked by the rise and demise of communism.