Submitting to Moral Blackmail? Kristen Ghodsee’s “The Left Side of History”

what's left

July 19, 2015

By Stephen Gowans

Kristen Ghodsee’s “The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe,” is a variegated reflection on socialism as practiced in Eastern Europe, and especially Bulgaria, in the four and half decades following WWII. It is, at one and the same time, a meditation on the purpose of official anti-communism; a near hagiography of the British communist Frank Thompson, the elder brother of the famed historian E.P. Thompson, who died fighting with Bulgarian partisans in WWII; a history of the Lagadinovas, three brothers and a sister (the latter of whom would become famous throughout the socialist bloc as the “Amazon”), who joined the ranks of communist partisans struggling against Bulgaria’s Nazi-allied government; a Philippic against the contemporary political left for being comfortable only with opposition, and lacking any clear sense of what it’s for; and…

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One Response to Submitting to Moral Blackmail? Kristen Ghodsee’s “The Left Side of History”

  1. beetleypete says:

    An excellent book review. But I would expect nothing less from the erudite Mr Gowans.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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