While I was writing this book, I was not the best mother, partner, friend, or col-
league. There are therefore many people to whom I owe apologies as well as thanks.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the members of my writing group who
helped me work through many parts of the manuscript: Annie Finch, Pope Brock,
and Sarah Braunstein. Their patience and generosity gave me the opportunity to
talk through this manuscript, and they listened to and provided critical feedback
for the early drafts of several chapters. Susan Faludi was an invaluable interlocutor;
our many productive gabfests about feminism, communism, and East European
history helped me sharpen my arguments and consider the wider implications of
how the memory of World War II shapes contemporary politics. I also discussed
this project with many colleagues and friends: Maria Bucur, Russ Rymer, Jennifer
Scanlon, Page Herrlinger, Anne Clifford, Barry Logan, Olga Shevchenko, Joan W.
Scott, Judy Vichniac, Barbara Weinstein, Sonya Michel, Maria Stoilkova, Josephine
Sehon, Doug Rogers, Christian Filipov, and Dimitar Dimitrov. Their input and sug-
gestions were invaluable. Miroslava Nikolova was my Bulgarian research assistant
at Bowdoin College for three years between 2010 and 2013, and provided a wide
variety of support for this project, especially with the initial translations of Boris
Lagadinov’s memoir from the Bulgarian. Other Bowdoin students inspired me in
various ways, but I particularly want to acknowledge four members of the class of
2016: Caroline Martinez, Julia Mead, Sara Hamilton, and Matthew Goroff. Scott
Sehon, Miroslava Nikolova, Sarah Braunstein, Andrea Simon, Anne Clifford, Vera
Dellwig, and Danielle Lubin- Levy all read and gave comments on a full draft of the
manuscript. For their comments and suggestions I am deeply grateful. I am also in-
debted to Andrea Simon for her inspirational work on Angel Wagenstein and the
Bulgarian Holocaust. Finally, the blue pencil of the novelist Sarah Braunstein im-
measurably enhanced the quality of my prose.
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