By Mary C. Neuburger
In Balkan Smoke, Mary Neuburger leads readers alongside the Bulgarian-Ottoman caravan routes and into the coffeehouses of Istanbul and Sofia. She unearths how a distant state used to be drawn into worldwide fiscal networks via tobacco creation and intake and within the approach turned smooth. In writing the lifetime of tobacco in Bulgaria from the past due Ottoman interval over the years of Communist rule, Neuburger offers us even more than the cultural background of a commodity; she presents a clean viewpoint at the genesis of recent Bulgaria itself.
The tobacco exchange involves form so much of Bulgaria's diplomacy; it drew Bulgaria into its fateful alliance with Nazi Germany and within the postwar interval Bulgaria was once the first provider of smokes (the famed Bulgarian Gold) for the USSR and its satellites. by way of the past due Nineteen Sixties Bulgaria used to be the #1 exporter of tobacco on this planet, with approximately one 8th of its inhabitants desirous about production.
Through the pages of this booklet we stopover at the areas the place tobacco is grown and meet the retailers, the staff, and the peasant growers, so much of whom are Muslim via the postwar interval. alongside the way in which, we find out how smoking and anti-smoking impulses motivated perceptions of luxurious and necessity, questions of novelty, imitation, worth, flavor, and gender-based respectability. whereas the scope is usually worldwide, Neuburger additionally explores the politics of tobacco inside of Bulgaria. one of the book's surprises are the ways that conflicts over the tobacco (and smoking) support to explain the forbidding quagmire of Bulgarian politics.
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