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The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe By Kristen Ghodsee,

  • Title: The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe
  • Author: Kristen Ghodsee
  • ISBN: 9780822358350
  • Page: 466
  • Format: Paperback
  • In The Left Side of History Kristen Ghodsee tells the stories of partisans fighting behind the lines in Nazi allied Bulgaria during World War II British officer Frank Thompson, brother of the great historian E.P Thompson, and fourteen year old Elena Lagadinova, the youngest female member of the armed anti fascist resistance But these people were not merely anti fascist In The Left Side of History Kristen Ghodsee tells the stories of partisans fighting behind the lines in Nazi allied Bulgaria during World War II British officer Frank Thompson, brother of the great historian E.P Thompson, and fourteen year old Elena Lagadinova, the youngest female member of the armed anti fascist resistance But these people were not merely anti fascist they were pro communist, idealists moved by their socialist principles to fight and sometimes die for a cause they believed to be right Victory brought forty years of communist dictatorship followed by unbridled capitalism after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 Today in democratic Eastern Europe there is ever increasing despair, disenchantment with the post communist present, and growing nostalgia for the communist past These phenomena are difficult to understand in the West, where communism is a dirty word that is quickly equated with Stalin and Soviet labor camps By starting with the stories of people like Thompson and Lagadinova, Ghodsee provides a nuanced understanding of how communist ideals could inspire ordinary people to make extraordinary sacrifices.
    The Left Side of History World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe In The Left Side of History Kristen Ghodsee tells the stories of partisans fighting behind the lines in Nazi allied Bulgaria during World War II British officer Frank Thompson brother of the great hi

    One thought on “The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe”

    1. The Left Side of History the most entertaining book about Communism I ever readIf you think that the study of Communism is boring, you are wrong Kristen Ghodsee, Professor of Gender and Women s Studies at Bowdoin College, has written an eyeopening and entertaining story of how Communism came to Bulgaria and how the average citizen suffered when socialism was replaced by the free market economy.The Left Side of History Duke University Press begins with the story of Major Frank Thompson, a British [...]

    2. Ghodsee s book gives subtle reasoning to why people supported communism at the end of World War 2 beyond the knee jerk reaction where communism is a dirty word that is quickly matched with Stalin and the Soviet labour camps.The book centres around Ghodsee s quest to find out about why a British Army Officer would have been working with the communist partisans It s a mixed book I had expected detail on the partisan movement on Bulgaria, particularly the work of the British officer Frank Thompso [...]

    3. In August, I went to a book reading by the author at Longfellow Books in Portland Maine in August 2015 Ghodsee is a professor at Bowdoin College just up US 1 from Portland and an ethnographologist Yes, I had to look up ethnography to have some clue as to what she taught I found an article that helped see brianhoey General%20Si Ghodsee doesn t think this book should be classified under ethnography because it is too subjective As she says in the prologue, I do not come to these stories of individu [...]

    4. This is a great book for young people who want to learn about socialism or communism and what it actually meant The stories told are about real teenagers who fought against the Nazis in WWII, what they were fighting for, and what it means today The writing is excellent for a nonfiction book, and there are a lot of nice, old photos To quote another reviewer, this is definitely the most entertaining book about communism I ve ever read

    5. I found the book to get to a slow start, but once I got invested in the writing and research, it was very engaging The second half, in which Ghodsee interviews socialist era women s committee activists and explores their experiences of the post 1989 period, is especially compelling It could also be a good teaching device to help students understand why sympathy and nostalgia for the socialist period remain common in contemporary Bulgaria and throughout the post socialist world.

    6. I put this book in several categories because parts of it fall into each of the categories Bulgaria was one of the few countries that actively sided with NAZI Germany The partisans were fighting a brutal regime hoping to bring democratic socialism to their country Though many were members of the Communist Party their ideals differed from Stalin s Unfortunately, the West equated communism with Stalinism After the war was won partisans were honored for their sacrifices and myths and legends develo [...]

    7. This is a wonderful book, and gives a view of communism in eastern Europe which is different from the common views of it It was a very compelling read And I cried at one point simply from realizing the positive and deep impact that Elena Lagadinova had on the lives of women, especially in post WW II Bulgaria.

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