Today we often associate hybrid or genetically modified corn with agricultural monopolies, big business, and capitalism, in the early Cold War some feared that the rise of hybrid corn would sow the seeds of Communism in the United States.
This summer I conducted research in, but also beyond, my regular haunts, namely the dusty old libraries and archival reading rooms of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. After several days in Sofia, I took to the mountains to follow the paths of ethnographers, tourists, and pilgrims who have written about this distant borderland of Europe over the past 200 years.
How to Cook and Eat in Chinese was the earliest popular, English-language guide to Chinese cooking. First published in 1945 and reprinted several times, it remains in wide use today.
It’s the afternoon of a hot summer’s day and I am standing at the bottom of a staircase—with no handrails—that’s not so much set in to the side of a mountain as built on top of it. Way up there, at the top of four hundred fifty five stairs, there’s a shrine whose gleaming silver dome is barely visible in the afternoon sun. That’s our destination.
Bulgaria became one of the most important points of entry for Phillip Morris, RJ Reynolds, and other US tobacco companies to penetrate the Iron Curtain into a growing and untapped market. While the direct imports of cigarettes into the Bloc remained limited, Bloc states signed licensing agreements with US companies in the mid-1970s that resulted in the production of Marlboro (Phillip Morris) and Winston (RJ Reynolds) in local factories.
On the evening of June 24, 1941, Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston Churchill came on the radio. He declared: “Any person belonging to a country fighting against fascism will receive British aid.” He went on to say that he will give Russia and its people all the help that the British government can offer.
During World War II the United States shipped an enormous amount of aid to the Soviet Union through the Lend-Lease program. The significance of this aid to the Soviet war effort has long been debated.