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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Writing about Romania - part III Histories

Three names stand out for English speakers for their efforts in trying to make sense of this complex country – Lucian Boia, Dennis Deletant and Tom Gallagher. The first for the sheer courage and fluent coherence of his prolific writings (he is 70) on the history of the country – particularly his valiant and so necessary work on demystification and demythologising; the second for the intensity of his focus on the communist period; and the latter for the uncompromising critique of the corruption of the post-communist political class. 

Boia is a delight to read – and two of his key books can be read in full and in English online -
Dennis Deletant’s Hitler’s Forgotten Ally – Ion Antonescu and his regime 1940-1944 (2006) is a departure from his books about the Communist period of the country.

In 2005 Tom Gallagher gave us in Theft of a nation – Romania since Communism and followed it up in 2010 with a typically trenchant expose Romania and the European Union: How the Weak Vanquished the Strong

An ex- Us diplomat, Ernest Latham, wrote recently Timeless and Transitory - 20th century relations between Romania and the English-speaking world 

A fourth historian deserves a mention - the Scot, Robert Seton-Watson who played an important role as journalist and academic a hundred years ago in assisting the aspirations of the various nationalities which were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire break free of Vienna. Sadly, however, his "History of Romanian People" is no longer available.  

Interestingly the lovely Pallas edition of "Romania" edited by John Villiers and produced in 2009 has a nice bibliography (at page 347) which lists almost 50 books about Romanian history!

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