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Romania

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Romania occupies a unique position on the map of Eastern Europe. It is a country that presents many paradoxes. In this book the preeminent Romanian historian Lucian Boia examines his native land's development from the Middle Ages to modern times, delineating its culture, history, language, politics and ethnic identity. Boia introduces us to the heroes and myths of Romanian Romania occupies a unique position on the map of Eastern Europe. It is a country that presents many paradoxes. In this book the preeminent Romanian historian Lucian Boia examines his native land's development from the Middle Ages to modern times, delineating its culture, history, language, politics and ethnic identity. Boia introduces us to the heroes and myths of Romanian history, and provides an enlightening account of the history of Romanian Communism. He shows how modernization and the influence of the West have divided the nation - town versus country, nationalists versus pro-European factions, the elite versus the masses - and argues that Romania today is in chronic difficulty as it tries to fix its identity and envision a future for itself. The book concludes with a tour of Bucharest, whose houses, streets and public monuments embody Romania's traditional values and contemporary contradictions.


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Romania occupies a unique position on the map of Eastern Europe. It is a country that presents many paradoxes. In this book the preeminent Romanian historian Lucian Boia examines his native land's development from the Middle Ages to modern times, delineating its culture, history, language, politics and ethnic identity. Boia introduces us to the heroes and myths of Romanian Romania occupies a unique position on the map of Eastern Europe. It is a country that presents many paradoxes. In this book the preeminent Romanian historian Lucian Boia examines his native land's development from the Middle Ages to modern times, delineating its culture, history, language, politics and ethnic identity. Boia introduces us to the heroes and myths of Romanian history, and provides an enlightening account of the history of Romanian Communism. He shows how modernization and the influence of the West have divided the nation - town versus country, nationalists versus pro-European factions, the elite versus the masses - and argues that Romania today is in chronic difficulty as it tries to fix its identity and envision a future for itself. The book concludes with a tour of Bucharest, whose houses, streets and public monuments embody Romania's traditional values and contemporary contradictions.

30 review for Romania

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liza Shkirando

    After visiting Romania a couple of times I got obsessed with this country, its people and culture. This book (recommended to me by romanian friends) opened a whole new world for me. Boia compares and discusses different theories and views on the history and explains why and how it happened that Romania is what it is today. Sometimes the language is a bit too academic but the book is nevertheless truly fascinating.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Fred Garnett

    Despite being written in 1999 this is a terrific book for those trying to understand Romania through its history and geo-political situation; it contains an excellent chapter on sylvan Bucharest too. So he misses out on the many 21st century changes that have made Romania the bandwidth capital of Europe, revealed a deep corruption in the political class and seen massive demonstrations against and after the Collectiv night club fire in 2016. Nevertheless this is a magisterial coverage of its Despite being written in 1999 this is a terrific book for those trying to understand Romania through its history and geo-political situation; it contains an excellent chapter on sylvan Bucharest too. So he misses out on the many 21st century changes that have made Romania the bandwidth capital of Europe, revealed a deep corruption in the political class and seen massive demonstrations against and after the Collectiv night club fire in 2016. Nevertheless this is a magisterial coverage of its chosen material as Lucian Boia wears his learning and knowledge lightly, as he answers the question "What is Romania", and uses it, like the best writers, to dance easily between the many elements of his answers, whilst trying to be both inform us and remain rounded. The excellent selection of images really helps too. As he puts it he is not "competing with guidebooks" but instead he is providing a history of Romanian people which will help the many who wish to live, love or work there, understand Romanians, and deepen their travel experiences.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul Ispas

    Treaba buna facuta de Boia, insa nu pot sa nu critic, la nivel minimalist, caracterul romanesc al unei carti scrisa pentru straini, iar din acest motiv lasa impresia ca nu este completa. Una-peste-alta, lucrarea poate juca intr-un stil mult mai complet rolul de manual de istorie a romanilor datorita tendintei de explicare a situatiei actuale prin fundamente istorice si referinte pertinente. Un "must" pentru cei care vor sa-si acopere lacunele in domeniul istoriei romane... sau sa-si schimbe Treaba buna facuta de Boia, insa nu pot sa nu critic, la nivel minimalist, caracterul romanesc al unei carti scrisa pentru straini, iar din acest motiv lasa impresia ca nu este completa. Una-peste-alta, lucrarea poate juca intr-un stil mult mai complet rolul de manual de istorie a romanilor datorita tendintei de explicare a situatiei actuale prin fundamente istorice si referinte pertinente. Un "must" pentru cei care vor sa-si acopere lacunele in domeniul istoriei romane... sau sa-si schimbe modul de a gandi si trata trecutul tarii. Pentru ca romanii nu vorbeau limba daca.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Șerbănescu

    Cinci stele sunt prea puține pentru cât de mult mi-a plăcut cartea. O recomand oricui, român sau străin, dornic să cunoască România și pe români așa cum sunt: cu bune și rele, cu defecte și calități, cu momente de glorie sau de obscuritate. Oricum, altfel decât în manualele, cărțile și filmele de propagandă ale diverselor epoci, eliberați de mituri, exagerări și încrâncenări, dar descriși cu detașare și o tușă fină de umor.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Philipp Hartmann

    Rezumat de bază al istoriei României. În timp ce cele două treimi iniţiale sunt destul de interesante, ultima treime pare a fi mai degrabă o juxtapoziţie a impresiilor autorului, nu prea bine orânduită. În plus, după părerea mea, se vedea prea des atitudinea lui Boia, în loc de a asuma o poziţie mai imparţială.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    This is a shallow and populist rehash or the popular romanian myths. There are not much money to be had in the history business where usually one ends up for not having good enough grades for a better university degree. But one can make money as a talking head. And to be a talking head you have to be popular. Lucian Boia just builds up on the previous texts without bringing anything new. His only effort is to pose as sincere and moderate. Yet this is only a pose, a way to painting the This is a shallow and populist rehash or the popular romanian myths. There are not much money to be had in the history business where usually one ends up for not having good enough grades for a better university degree. But one can make money as a talking head. And to be a talking head you have to be popular. Lucian Boia just builds up on the previous texts without bringing anything new. His only effort is to pose as sincere and moderate. Yet this is only a pose, a way to painting the nationalism over as something good.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jody

    Another book I was lucky enough to find on the shelf at our local Goodwill. I used it for character development in a story I was writing. The character was the daughter of King of the Dacian Empire who lived briefly an was killed by another of my characters as the Romans marched in and took over. I only needed just enough information to write a plausible piece and with this book I found what I needed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ghemot

    Juxtapunere a mai multor perspective din care poate fi privită România, Lucian Boia face încă o încercare de a portretiza țara sa natală. Cu siguranță a ieșit un proiect bun și cuprinzător, evident neomițând perspectiva istorică, despre România! Cred că este o carte care poate fi oferită oricărui străin interesat de plaiurile mioritice. Juxtapunere a mai multor perspective din care poate fi privită România, Lucian Boia face încă o „încercare” de a portretiza țara sa natală. Cu siguranță a ieșit un proiect bun și cuprinzător, evident neomițând perspectiva istorică, despre România! Cred că este o carte care poate fi oferită oricărui străin interesat de „plaiurile mioritice”.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Judging by the title and contents, I expected this to be a painfully dry but informative read. So I was surprised and pleased to find the writing expressive and seamlessly weaving in bits of narrative. An introductory read on Romania / armchair travel at its best. Boia provides an insightful, captivating account of the country's origins, and major themes, characters and debates in its history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eun

    An interesting and easy to read book about Romania's history.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andreea Lupșor

  12. 4 out of 5

    James Longman

  13. 4 out of 5

    Iuliana

  14. 5 out of 5

    Black_kira

  15. 4 out of 5

    Constantin Ciobanu

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrei Popa

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kilimanjaro

  18. 5 out of 5

    Magda

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ioana Crețu

  20. 5 out of 5

    Giorgiana Berendea

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Mekawy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Francesca

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrei Popilian

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nico

  25. 4 out of 5

    Luana Popa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yanzhang

  27. 4 out of 5

    Devin Turner

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alina Feher-Gavra

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Darabut

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