Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

"Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria," by Mary C. Neuburger (History Faculty New Book Talk)

Wed, November 5, 2014 | GAR 4.100

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The History Faculty New Book Series presents:

Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Cornell University Press, Nov. 2012)
by Mary C. Neuburger,
Professor of History; Director, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, UT Austin

"This fascinating book explores the history of tobacco and tobacco culture in Bulgaria from the mid-19th century, when the country became partially and then fully independent from the Ottoman Empire, to the postcommunist present. Neuburger . . . argues convincingly that smoking and the production of tobacco products played an important—if not the key—part in Bulgaria's political, economic; and cultural modernization during this period. . . .  Summing Up: Highly recommended."—Choice (June 2013)

"In Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria, Neuburger masterfully demonstrates how the yellow-leafed plant has been at the core of building the historical narrative of modern day Bulgaria. More importantly, it also reveals in a particularly poignant way the complex dynamics of national consumption and global flows of goods and the ideologies they encapsulate. . . . Neuburger has a keen eye both for factual details and for cultural minutia, which reveals her remarkable ease and extreme, almost native-like, level of comfort and familiarity with the often hidden nuances of Bulgaria's less obvious cultural references."—Elza Ibroscheva, Consumption Markets & Culture

"Mary C. Neuburger's brilliant new book recounts the social life of tobacco in the past two centuries.... It creatively utilizes the extensive Bulgarian literature on the tobacco industry and cultural works on everyday life to produce a highly original account of the making of Bulgarian modernity.... remarkably well-researched and inspiringly written work." —Maria Todorova, American Historical Review (Dec 2013)

"Neuburger's work sharpens our understandings of Bulgarian economic history. . . . It is dense stuff, and I am terribly impressed with Neuburger’s ability to bring it all together in a coherent narrative. She has added a new thread to our understanding of the development of modern nationalism."—Cristofer Scarboro, Slavic Review (Spring 2014)

No RSVP needed. Please email Courtney to receive a copy of the reading selection to be discussed.

Sponsored by: Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History

Bookmark and Share