Symbolic Traces of Communist Legacy in Post-socialist Hungary, Lisa Pope Fischer shows how personal practices symbolically refurbish elements from the Communist era to fit present-day challenges. A generation who lived through the socialist period adapt to post-socialist Hungary in a global context. Life histories weave together case studies of gift giving, procurement strategies, harvest ritual, healthcare, and socialist kitsch to illustrate turns towards mysticism, neo-traditionalism, nostalgia, nationalism, and shifts in time-place. People’s unrequited past longing for future possibilities of a Western society facilitate desires for a lost way of life. Not only does this work gain understanding of an aging population’s life experiences and the politics of everyday practices, but also social change in a modern global world.
Suvin’s ‘X-Ray’ of Socialist Yugoslavia offers an indispensable overview of a unique and often overlooked twentieth-century socialism. It shows that the plebeian surge of revolutionary self-determination was halted in SFR Yugoslavia by 1965; that between 1965– 72 there was a confused and hidden but still open-ended clash; and that by 1972 the oligarchy in power was closed and static, leading to failure. The underlying reasons of this failure are analysed in a melding of semiotics and political history, which points beyond Yugoslavia – including its achievements and degeneration – to show how political and economic democracy fail when pursued in isolation. The emphasis on socialist Yugoslavia is at various points embedded into a wider historical and theoretical frame, including Left debates about the party, sociological debates about classes, and Marx’s great foray against a religious State doctrine in
The Jewish Question.
Muslim Tatar Minorities in the Baltic Sea Region, edited by Ingvar Svanberg and David Westerlund, the contributors introduce the history and contemporary situation of these little known groups of people that for centuries have been part of the religious and ethnic mosaic of this region. The book has a broad and multi-disciplinary scope and covers the early settlements in Lithuania and Poland, the later immigrations to Saint Petersburg, Finland, Estonia and Latvia, as well as the most recent establishments in Sweden and Germany. The authors, who hail from and are specialists on these areas, demonstrate that in several respects the Tatar Muslims have become well-integrated here.
Contributors are: Toomas Abiline, Tamara Bairasauskaite, Renat Bekkin, Sebastian Cwiklinski, Harry Halén, Tuomas Martikainen, Agata Nalborczyk, Egdunas Racius, Ringo Ringvee, Valters Scerbinskis, Sabira Ståhlberg, Ingvar Svanberg and David Westerlund.