• Red Hangover: Legacies of Twentieth-Century Communism

    Author(s):
    Pages: 256
    Illustrations: 55 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Prelude: Freundschaft  xi
    Part I. Postsocialist Freedoms
    1. Fires  3
    2. Cucumbers  1
    3. Pieces (Fiction)  24
    4. Belgrade, 2015 (Fiction)  39
    Part II. Re ing the Divided
    5. #Mauerfall25  47
    6. The Enemy of My Enemy  68
    7. A Tale of Two Typewriters  84
    Part III. Blackwashing History
    8. Gross Domestic Orgasms  101
    9. My Mother and a Clock  111
    10. Venerating Nazis of Vilify Commies  129
    Part IV. "Democracy Is the Worst Form of Government, Except All Those Other Forms that Have Been Tried from Time to Time"
    11. Three Bulgarian Jokes  149
    12. Post-Zvyarism: A Fable about Animals on a Farm (Fiction)  150
    13. Interview witha Former Member of the Democractic Party of the United States (Fiction)  167
    14. Democracy for the Penguins  179
    Acknowledgments  201
    Notes  205
    Selected Bibliography  223
  • "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."

    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."

  • “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

    "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

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  • Description

    In Red Hangover Kristen Ghodsee examines the legacies of twentieth-century communism twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell. Ghodsee's essays and short stories reflect on the lived experience of postsocialism and how many ordinary men and women across Eastern Europe suffered from the massive social and economic upheavals in their lives after 1989. Ghodsee shows how recent major crises—from the Russian annexation of Crimea and the Syrian Civil War to the rise of Islamic State and the influx of migrants in Europe—are linked to mistakes made after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc when fantasies about the triumph of free markets and liberal democracy blinded Western leaders to the human costs of "regime change." Just as the communist ideal has become permanently tainted by its association with the worst excesses of twentieth-century Eastern European regimes, today the democratic ideal is increasingly sullied by its links to the ravages of neoliberalism. An accessible introduction to the history of European state socialism and postcommunism, Red Hangover reveals how the events of 1989 continue to shape the world today.

    About The Author(s)

    Kristen Ghodsee is Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of several books, including The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe and Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life after Communism, both also published by Duke University Press, and From Notes to Narrative: Writing Ethnographies that Everyone Can Read.

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