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The Rough Road to Statecraft:
The Rough Road
to Statecraft is a window into the formative years of
the modern Bulgarian state and the efforts of the Balkan peoples to
define themselves politically as the mighty Ottoman Empire ceded power
to Europe. The book is a biography of the great Bulgarian statesman
and philanthropist Ivan Evstratiev Gueshoff (1849-1924).
In relating Gueshoff's life, however, it also tells the story of Bulgaria's bloody liberation from Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1878, of many years of brutal domestic debate over the country's character and priorities, and of the Balkan people's increasingly violent struggle—culminating in the Balkan Wars of the early 20th century—to define and defend their heritage and territory.
The engaging and admirable Gueshoff has much to teach readers with a casual or professional interest in Bulgarian history. But Rough Road also provides fascinating insights into many of the sources of conflict that would eventually lead to the more recent Balkan wars of our own 21st century, and the response of the great western European powers then and now to the troubles brewing on their eastern borders.
The book's many quotations from speeches and memoirs surround the reader with voices from 100 years ago that would sound familiar in today's cafes in Sofia, Skopje, Belgrade, Prishtina, and Thessaloniki.
About the Author
Elena Statelova, PhD, was a much-respected historian who specialized in Bulgarian history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and more particularly in Bulgaria’s emerging foreign policy during the country's first decades after liberation from the Ottoman Empire. After 1990 her work focused on documenting Bulgaria's anti-communist diaspora and exile communities. She authored and co-authored dozens of books, monographs, and articles, including many that were published in prestigious academic journals across Europe. As a researcher, she was known for her tireless pursuit of accuracy and for locating elusive primary sources.
For 40 years Statelova was an active and prominent member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She served for many years as Senior Academic Advisor to the Academy’s Historical Institute and taught at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo.
Statelova was born on 7 September 1940 in Haskovo, Bulgaria, and died in Sofia in 2008.
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