bg-past-and-present-title-pageBulgaria Past and Present, by George C. Logio, is a sympathetic review and analysis of the Bulgarian economic and political landscape in the mid-1930s.  Written by the local British Trade Representative, the book includes much detail concerning production, trade, and international relations.  The author does a good job sifting through a lot of data to demonstrate the intricate and sometimes overlooked connections between seemingly disparate events on the national and international stages.

The book is complimentary of the Bulgarian people; the author obviously enjoys both the country and its populace.  He goes to great lengths to explain and excuse perceived faults. Idiosyncratic behaviors which today might be attributed to the communist era are actually exposed as longer standing issues in society, often exacerbated by western inattention or meddling.  Some of his apologetic approach to the Bulgarian social dichotomy is illustrating in the following:

The Bulgarian is characterized by a sense of fairness and honesty in his dealings with his fellow men, this in striking contrast with his attitude towards the State, which he does scruple to cheat or despoil… since it has mercilessly exploited him.

The author is quick to lay blame for many of Bulgaria’s problems on the governments and financial institutions of the west, and concludes that inattention to Bulgarian economic needs would force them into unfriendly hands should the fragile European peace ever be broken.  This remark proved prescient a few years later, when Bulgaria joined the Axis powers in the second world war.