This latest entry in the Nations in Transition series recounts the history and struggles of Bulgaria and the hardships connected with its Soviet relationship. Otfinoski (Boris Yeltsin and the Rebirth of Russia, 1995, etc.) reveals the vast problems experienced by Bulgaria, so far unable to make the transition to a democratic system of government and a free-market economy; instead, the country has experienced ""economic disaster and near political chaos."" Approximately the size of the state of Tennessee, Bulgaria has been in crisis recently, but the coverage reaches back, presenting the government, religion, economy, culture, beautiful architecture, and great leaders, and offers a sense of a rich national identity. The author also makes excellent use of unfamiliar aspects of Bulgarian life to draw readers in: the roses grown there that produce an oil (attar) that is highly prized by perfume makers; the fact that this nation of ""yogurt-eaters has the greatest population of people over the age of 100 in all Europe""; and that the best surgeons earn about $60 a month. The road to democracy and prosperity is difficult for Bulgaria and readers will clearly understand that it has not given up its struggles.