Women against Nationalism

Militant nationalism is not an exclusively male enterprise. But a principal fuel that keeps the enterprise going is high-octane testosterone. You can find this renewable resource in many male-heavy places: the battlefield, the football stadium, the pulpits of politics. And when men gather in pubs to sing hymns to the gods of blood and soil, women are usually somewhere else attending to prosaic...
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The Ghettos of Eastern Europe

The first ghetto was a Jewish neighborhood in Venice located on an island that had been set aside for a foundry (getto in Italian). The 1,000 Jews who lived there in the early 16th century had free rein during the day but were locked in at night. There was very little space on the island. When more Jews arrived there to escape persecution elsewhere in Europe, the ghetto had to build upwards,...
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The City and the City

Kosice is not simply one city. Like any Central European metropolis worthy of the name, many urban incarnations coexist cheek and jowl in this charming capital of eastern Slovakia. In the Old Town, a medieval church overlooks a beautifully preserved Renaissance palace that abuts an Art Deco hotel from the Czechoslovak era. The more than a dozen names of the city over the last 800 years –...
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Playing Catch Up

Many people I’ve interviewed in East-Central Europe have talked about their initial expectations in 1989-90 that their countries would soon leap the development gap and join Europe proper. Within a few years, they thought they’d be living in the equivalent of Austria or Italy. When several years went by, and then several more, and they were still not living in these Austria-like countries,...
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Bulgaria’s Political Future

On May 12, Bulgarians went to the polls and gave the nod to the party — Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) — they’d just ousted from government in demonstrations a few months before. The party that came in second, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) was the successor of the Communist Party that had earlier generated a huge wave of protests in 1989-90. Faced with...
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