REVIEWS

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.
— Patrick Iber, Los Angeles Review of Books
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....
— Deena Stryker, OpEd News
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.
— Freeman Dyson, New York Times Book Review
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.
— Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
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.
— Marci Shore, author of, The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe
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.
— Jodi Dean, author of, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics
Kristen Ghodsee’s book about WWII-era Communism in Bulgaria is a fun, character-driven read.
— Kel Munger, Sacramento News and Review
A moving book.... History meets ethnography, all delivered in an absorbing, novelistic style.
— Donny Gluckstein, Socialist Review
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.
— Joan Roelofs, Counterpunch
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.
— Elza Ibroscheva, H-Net Reviews