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 nation was once drawn into international fiscal networks via tobacco creation and intake and within the approach grew to become smooth. In writing the lifetime of tobacco in Bulgaria from the overdue Ottoman interval over the years of Communist rule, Neuburger offers us even more than the cultural historical past of a commodity; she presents a clean point of view at the genesis of contemporary 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 used to be the first provider of smokes (the famed Bulgarian Gold) for the USSR and its satellites. by means of the past due Sixties Bulgaria used to be the #1 exporter of tobacco on the planet, with approximately one 8th of its inhabitants thinking about production.
Through the pages of this ebook we stopover at the areas the place tobacco is grown and meet the retailers, the employees, and the peasant growers, so much of whom are Muslim via the postwar interval. alongside the best way, we learn the way smoking and anti-smoking impulses stimulated perceptions of luxurious and necessity, questions of novelty, imitation, price, flavor, and gender-based respectability. whereas the scope is usually worldwide, Neuburger additionally explores the politics of tobacco inside Bulgaria. one of the book's surprises are the ways that conflicts over the tobacco (and smoking) support to elucidate the forbidding quagmire of Bulgarian politics.