Scholarly Reviews

Jennifer Cash, Soyuz: The Research Network for Postcolonial Studies

"[A]n engaging and approachable ethnography of post-socialist Bulgaria. . . . Admittedly, chapter 3 . . . was my favorite for its sheer freshness of information and perspective. . . . Under its serious condsideration of economic transition and women's lives, The Red Riviera is also the raciest ethnography of Eastern Europe yet." 

Christine Suck, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology

“[A]n excellent ethnography…. This well-written, vivid account of women in postsocialist Bulgaria will be compelling for anthropologists and scholars from related disciplines interested in women/gender, tourism, and/or postsocialism as well as feminism, development, and NGOs.” 


Anne White, Slavonic and East European Review

“The Red Riviera is an absorbing, very well-written book which explores the social impact of transition in Bulgaria by focusing on women’s employment in holiday resorts.”

Eva Fodor, American Journal of Sociology

"The Red Riviera is pleasant to read, which would serve well in classrooms. It could be used to ignite further discussions about the consequences of the expansion of neoliberal capitalism for social inequalities on the peripheries."

Catherine Baker, Slovo

“[A]n insightful case study of the global labour market. . . .”

Colleen Ballerino Cohen, Current Anthropology

“The Red Riviera is noteworthy for its focus on women’s roles and activities in global tourism as well as for its insights into the transition from a state-controlled to a capitalist tourism economy.”

Adele Ladkin, Tourism Geographies

“Whether the reason for reading this book comes from an interest in Bulgarian tourism, tourism employment, gender and women’s studies or post-socialist transformation, it makes a compelling read and demonstrates an effective use of ethnographic research.”

Donna R. Gabaccia, Journal of Women's History

“By contrasting the successful women of the tourist industry to the fallen male heroes of communism (its industrial workers), Ghodsee introduces readers to the equally complex transition in gendered expectations, options, and aspirations that has accompanied rapid economic change.”

Sarah Drue Phillips, Canadian Slavonic Papers

“Ghodsee offers a compelling and beautifully-crafted ethnographic study of women and the Bulgarian tourism industry. . . . Whether The Red Riviera captures a moment in time or (we hope) documents women's ongoing and future success in the Bulgarian tourism industry, we are fortunate that the tale has been told by Kristen Ghodsee, an exceptionally insightful scholar and gifted storyteller.”

Lisa Giddings, Feminist Economics

“In her book The Red Riviera Kristin Ghodsee accomplishes the impossible; she makes a relatively dry academic subject—occupational segregation in post-Communist Bulgaria—come to life. She expertly weaves ethnography, feminist theory, sociology, and economic data with personal stories about women in Bulgarian tourism industry into a fascinating explanation for their post-Socialist success.”

Julie Hartley-Moore, American Anthropologist

“Overall The Red Riviera is a very appealing book. Its theoretical position is clearly explained and its use of personal narrative is effective. . . . The book will appeal to those interested in tourism, labor, gender, and postsocialism, and because it is so accessibly written, it will also work well for undergraduate classes.”

Oriol Pi-Sunyer, Anthropology of East Europe Review

“The Red Riviera is not a depressing book, even if it has been necessary to count the costs of a transition that many observers now believe was inevitable. It is basically an ethnography for our times, times when systems are put to the test and many people live in the midst of uncertainty. This does not only happen in former socialist states.”

Barbara A. Cellarius, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“Overall, Red Riviera is a readable book with its vivid descriptions of people and places. The ‘small histories’ draw the reader in, and to the extent that the book uses specialized theories or concepts, they are explained in an understandable way.”

Lavinia Stan, Women's Studies International Forum

“This engaging and compelling volume is of interest to women’s studies scholars, but also political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists interested in Eastern Europe. Its clear style makes it an accessible reading for students at all levels.”

Deema Kaneef, Slavic Review

“The work is both easy and enjoyable to read. . . . [It] presents an interesting argument and is a valuable contribution to postsocialist literature on Bulgaria and tourism.”