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Balkan SmokeTobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria$
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Mary C. Neuburger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450846

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450846.001.0001

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The Tobacco Fortress

The Tobacco Fortress

Asenovgrad Krepost and the Politics of Tobacco between the World Wars

(p.108) Chapter 4 The Tobacco Fortress
Balkan Smoke

Mary C. Neuburger

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the politics of Bulgarian tobacco during the interwar years by focusing on the Asenovgrad Krepost. The Asenovgrad Krepost was a tobacco cooperative which protected peasants engaged in tobacco cultivation against the predatory intrigues of speculators, merchants, and other foreign interests. In a period when only wealthy tobacconists had their own factories, the unprecedented success of Asenovgrad Krepost brought the cooperative into the public eye domestically and internationally. This chapter first explains how Asenovgrad Krepost became a paragon of entrepreneurship and cooperative achievement in the 1920s before discussing how its political foundations were shaken by by the social and political tensions triggered by the postwar tobacco bubble. It also examines how the Asenovgrad Krepost and other tobacco cooperatives adopted collectivist and corporatist tendencies after World War I.

Keywords:   politics, tobacco, Bulgaria, Asenovgrad Krepost, peasants, entrepreneurship, tobacco cooperatives, World War I

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