The Left Side of History review Å eBook or Kindle ePUB

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The Left Side of History review Å eBook or Kindle ePUB Ô 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 EP Thompson and fourteen year old Elena Lagadinova the youngest G nostalgia for the communist past These phenomena are difficult to understand in the West where “communism” is a dirty word that is uickly euated 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 sacrific. 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

Kristen R. Ghodsee ↠ 3 characters

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 EP 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. 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 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 individuals who lived through some of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century as an objective bystander attempting to answer broad theoretical uestions I write these words as someone who is trying to make sense of an uncertain future Ghodsee speaks fluent Bulgarian and has been studing the country for uite awhile She spends a lot of time there She was researching the activities of a communist era women's committee when she learned about Major Frank Thompson and Elena Lagadinova Thompson a British covert operative parachuted into Bulgaria to assist the partisans in their fight against the fascist goverment during WWII was executed when the partisan group he was with was captured Despite wearing his uniform and identifying himself as a British soldier and thereby entitled to be treated as a POW under the Geneva Convention Thompson age 22 or 23 was executed with the other partisans Thompson was a classmate at a private British prep school with a Professor that the author had met at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies and he got her interested in ThompsonElena Lagadinova a 15 year old partisan in Bulgaria during WWII survived and became a Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party deputy to the National Assembly and from 1964 1989 President of the Committe of the Movement of Bulgarian Women Lagadinova was still alive in August 2015 Ghodsee's story of Thompson focuses on his passion to help make a better world He's an interesting young man He was very good friends with author Iris Murdoch His family was uite well off His correspondence with his family and Murdoch was preserved allowing Ghodsee to explore what drove him a member of the communist party to join the British army and to volunteer to go to Bulgaria She also has material about people who met him in Bulgaria He was regarded as a hero and there is a major street named after him in Sofia His story is interestingGhodsee's story of Lagadinova is far interesting at least to me Ghodsee spent a lot of time interviewing Lagadinova who is pretty much unknown these days even in Bulgaria She lives on a small pension in a small apartment She rarely goes out But what a story this woman has to tell and hopefully this book will mean we will have it in perpetuity The theme of Ghodsee's book seems to be to tell the story of communism in Bulgaria as seen through the eyes of those who lived it While Ghodsee purports not to be objective I think she is very objective in portraying the stories she is told What perhaps doesn't feel objective to her is how she struggles to make sense of those stories in light of having grown up in the West where we were all told how horrible communism was This is an easy book to read and the Thompson and Lagadinova stories are worth knowing I appreciate the primer on Bulgarian history since WWII as I will be visiting Bulgaria in a few months I would encourage anyone who has an interest in WWII the Cold War and the current financial situation in Europe to read this book not for answers but for information

characters Î eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Kristen R. Ghodsee

The Left Side of HistoryPro 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 growin. This is a book to read if you want to learn why communist movements arose and who joined those We learn the human dimension of these movements through the eyes of the people who dedicated their lives to making the world a better place and fighting often for their very lives the reactionary freuently murderous rulers of the pre war ancien régimeElena Lagadinova had no choice but to become a partisan at age 14 when she barely escaped government thugs who burned down her family's house ultimately becoming a research scientist international advocate for women's rights and a prominent political leader — none of which would have been possible before the revolution Yes that revolution was perverted and eventually crumbled but people like Lagadinova and her brothers never stopped striving to make life better for BulgariansNow the people who burned down houses decapitated opponents signed decrees that sent thousands of Jews to their deaths and aligned with Hitler are hailed as victims of communism while those who fought against these outrages are portrayed as monsters The Left Side of History is a well written and accessible correction to this distortion of history