February 28, 2023
18 figures
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.28 Pounds (US)
$95.00 USD, £68.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference


The Transformation of the Countryside in Communist Albania

In this historical monograph on non-urban communist Albania, Artan Hoxha discusses the ambitious development project that turned a swampland into a site of sugar production after 1945. The author seeks to free the history of Albanian communism from the stereotypes that still circulate about it with stigmas of an aberration, paranoia, extreme nationalism, and xenophobia.

This micro-history of the agricultural and industrial transformation of a zone in southeastern Albania, explores a wide range of issues including modernization, development, and social, cultural, and economic policies. In addition to analyzing the collectivization of agriculture, Hoxha shows how communism affected the lives of ordinary rural people. As elsewhere in the Communist Bloc, the Albanian regime borrowed developmental projects from the past and implemented them using social mobilization and a command economy. The abundant archival resources along with interviews in the field attest to the authorities' efforts to increase consumption and to radically transform people's tastes. But the book argues that despite the repressive environment, people involved in the sugar project were not simply passive receivers of models from the nation's capital. The author also describes that—in defiance of Cold War bipolarity—technological requirements and social policy considerations required a degree of engagement with the broader world.

About the Author

Artan R. Hoxha is a historian of Southeastern Europe with a strong thematic interest in the social and cultural transformations during the 20th-century.


"This is a terrific book, a product of extensive research in Albanian archives and sources combined with a thoughtful engagement with the central problems of the Cold War and the contemporary era."https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php—Austin Jersild, H-Net Reviews"Albania has long been a kind of terra incognita for the East European field, given the scarcity of anglophone work until quite recently. Sugarland brings Albania back into the various trajectories and developments of regional and global history. This book is groundbreaking, original, and a joy to read. It makes a major contribution to Albanian, Balkan, East European (and European), and commodity history and is a must read in the field."https://direct.mit.edu/jcws/article-abstract/25/4/267/118960/Sugarland-The-Transformation-of-the-Countryside-in?redirectedFrom=fulltext—Mary Neuburger, Journal of Cold War Studies


"Sugarland offers a substantial and original contribution to the fields of Albanian and East European history and beyond. It brings a unique cultural history of a commodity—in this case sugar beets, and a micro-history of a region (Maliq plain) as a way of asking and answering questions that touch on a wide range of issues about modernization, development, and communist transformation. The work offers poignant, philosophical moments for pondering the past as it lays before us now—it's detritus and rubble. Hoxha's book is groundbreaking, original, and a joy to read."

—Mary Neuburger
Central European University Press

9789633866160 : sugarland-hoxha
306 Pages
$95.00 USD

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