An exploration of how a state transitions from the collectivized production and distribution of socialism to the consumer-focused culture of capitalism.
In Balkan Blues, Yuson Jung considers the state as an economic agent in upholding rights and responsibilities in the shift to a global market. Taking Bulgaria as her focus, Jung shows how impoverished Bulgarians developed a consumer-oriented society and how the concept of “need’ adapted in surprising ways to accommodate this new culture.
Different legal frameworks arose to ensure the rights of vulnerable or deceived consumers. Consumer advocacy NGOs and government officers scrambled to navigate unfamiliar EU-imposed models for consumer affairs departments. All of these changes involved issues of responsibility, accountability, and civic engagement, which brought Bulgarians new ways of viewing both their identities and their sense of agency. Yet these opportunities also raised questions of inequality, injustice, and social stratification. Jung’s study provides a compelling argument for reconsidering of the role of the state in the construction of twenty-first-century consumer cultures.
“A good contribution to post-socialist and Balkan studies, showing well that the concept of post-socialism can still be useful not only in the context of Central and Eastern Europe, but also in the Balkans. The book is based on long-term, deep ethnography and is well written . . . I recommend it to anyone who wants to try to understand social, political, and economic differences in Europe and everyday practices related to the (imaginaries of the) state.” —Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska, Ethnologia Polona
Edward Teach Blackbeard-is one of the legends of the so-called golden age of piracy. There have been so many accounts of his short, bloody career that it is hard to see him and his times in a clear historical light. This new study looks for the man behind the legend, and it gives a vivid insight into the nature of piracy and the naval operations that were launched against it.The narrative focuses on the roles played by the Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood who masterminded the pursuit of Blackbeard, and Lieutenant Robert Maynard of HMS Pearl who led the pursuit and finally cornered Teach and his crew and, after a vicious fight, saw him killed.In vivid detail, it reveals how the hunt for Blackbeard was orchestrated, how he was tracked down, and the parts played in the drama by the larger-than-life leading characters in this extraordinary story. This freshly researched study of the pursuit of the notorious pirate and his crew—and of the final fight in which Blackbeard lost his life—makes compelling reading.
This satirical short novel displays a side of Cooper unfamiliar to many modern readers. It is told from the point of view of an actual handkerchief: its origins in a French flax field, how it was passed around New York City society in the 1830s, and its eventual return to its maker. In this story, Cooper makes a point of ridiculing Victorian materialism—which places value on consumption, not production.
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