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The Rough Road to Statecraft: The Life of Bulgaria's Ivan E. Gueshoff
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...
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.
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