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A Concise History of Romania

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Spanning a period of 2000 years from the Roman conquest of Dacia to the present day, A Concise History of Romania traces the development of a unique nation situated on the border between East and West. In this illuminating new history, Keith Hitchins explores Romania's struggle to find its place amidst two diverse societies: one governed by Eastern orthodox tradition, spir Spanning a period of 2000 years from the Roman conquest of Dacia to the present day, A Concise History of Romania traces the development of a unique nation situated on the border between East and West. In this illuminating new history, Keith Hitchins explores Romania's struggle to find its place amidst two diverse societies: one governed by Eastern orthodox tradition, spirituality and agriculture and the other by Western rationalism, experimentation and capitalism. The book charts Romania's advancement through five significant phases of its history: medieval, early modern, modern and finally the nation's 'return to Europe'; evaluating all the while Romania's part in European politics, economic and social change, intellectual and cultural renewals and international entanglements. This is a fascinating history of an East European nation; one which sheds new light on the complex evolution of the Romanians and the identity they have successfully crafted from a unique synthesis of traditions.


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Spanning a period of 2000 years from the Roman conquest of Dacia to the present day, A Concise History of Romania traces the development of a unique nation situated on the border between East and West. In this illuminating new history, Keith Hitchins explores Romania's struggle to find its place amidst two diverse societies: one governed by Eastern orthodox tradition, spir Spanning a period of 2000 years from the Roman conquest of Dacia to the present day, A Concise History of Romania traces the development of a unique nation situated on the border between East and West. In this illuminating new history, Keith Hitchins explores Romania's struggle to find its place amidst two diverse societies: one governed by Eastern orthodox tradition, spirituality and agriculture and the other by Western rationalism, experimentation and capitalism. The book charts Romania's advancement through five significant phases of its history: medieval, early modern, modern and finally the nation's 'return to Europe'; evaluating all the while Romania's part in European politics, economic and social change, intellectual and cultural renewals and international entanglements. This is a fascinating history of an East European nation; one which sheds new light on the complex evolution of the Romanians and the identity they have successfully crafted from a unique synthesis of traditions.

30 review for A Concise History of Romania

  1. 5 out of 5

    Horia Bura

    O foarte buna sinteza de istorie a romanilor, realizata prin ochii si din condeiul unui istoric strain obiectiv, impartial, desi bine implantat in istoriografia romaneasca prezenta. Considerat deja de ceva vreme un specialist in istoria moderna a romanilor (a se vedea cele doua volume traduse la Humanitas), Hitchins si-a propus in aceasta carte o privire de ansamblu, destul de cuprinzatoare pentru cele aproximativ 350 de pagini ale sale. Ce mi-a placut: 1. spre deosebire de alti autori de sinteze O foarte buna sinteza de istorie a romanilor, realizata prin ochii si din condeiul unui istoric strain obiectiv, impartial, desi bine implantat in istoriografia romaneasca prezenta. Considerat deja de ceva vreme un specialist in istoria moderna a romanilor (a se vedea cele doua volume traduse la Humanitas), Hitchins si-a propus in aceasta carte o privire de ansamblu, destul de cuprinzatoare pentru cele aproximativ 350 de pagini ale sale. Ce mi-a placut: 1. spre deosebire de alti autori de sinteze de istorie a romanilor (multe dintre ele bine scrise si chiar ''palpitante''), Hitchins este mult mai analitic si interpretativ fata de diversele evolutii si fenomene istorice, incercand sa pastreze un echilibru intre aspectele pozitive si negative (chiar si-n cazul perioadei comuniste) si subliniind permanent limitele unei anumite actiuni istorice (cum ar fi, ca sa raman in aceiasi parametri, asa-zisa si clamata independenta a Romaniei fata de URSS, inceputa de Dej si continuata de Ceausescu). Datorita faptului ca nu se limiteaza doar la o redare simpl(ist)a, strict narativa, a evenimentelor, ci, din contra, problematizeaza si include intr-un cadru mai mare, general, european (''the bigger picture''), Hitchins merita citit si apreciat pentru aceasta abordare. 2. In plus, ca un bonus, interesanta si utila privirea aruncata asupra evolutiei postdecembriste, surprinsa in toata splendoarea-i contradictorie si sincopata. 3. Si o mare bila alba pentru abordarea si integrarea istoriei culturale (in primul rand la nivel literar si filosofic) si a civilizatiei romanesti, care beneficiaza de consistente (si foarte bune) subcapitole dedicate, ceea ce reprezinta un lucru mai rar intalnit intr-o lucrare de acest tip. Ce nu mi-a placut: nu c-as fi vreun mare fan al istoriei vechi sau medievale, dar, din punct de vedere cantitativ, in configuratia acestei sinteze, cele doua perioade nu ocupa decat vreo 60 de pagini, in timp ce restul istoriei (moderna si contemporana, de la 1774 - luat ca reper datorita pacii de la Kuciuk-Kainargi, dar si a debutului luptei boierilor pentru autonomia Tarilor Romane, in prima faza - si pana-n zilele noastre) se desfasoara pe mai bine de 4 ori mai multe pagini, adica vreo 260. Fireste ca sursele istorice abundente provin din istoria moderna si contemporana, dar, chiar si asa, cred ca acest dezechilibru de constructie ar fi putut fi evitat daca autorul nu si-ar fi ''taiat partea leului'' atat de mult. Una peste alta, o lucrare istoriografica foarte buna, bine si echilibrat scrisa, cu o deschidere generoasa atat catre specialisti, cat si catre simplii pasionati de istorie.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Lipman

    A very readable history of Romania. Draws out what appears to be the key historical (and ongoing?) question for the country: whether to look for inspiration to East or West. And connected with that, how to protect its borders, and treat its variety of minorities (not always propitiously...). A good intro.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wares

    Solid, authoritative and well written history of Romania from the Dacians through to present day. I was particularly interested by Hitchens treatment of Romanian historiography through the twentieth century and how it has been manipulated to serve the purposes of Soviet domination and Romanian's peculiar communist nationalism.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jill Cordry

    I decided to read some Romanian history prior to reading Robert Kaplan's IN EUROPE'S SHADOW: TWO COLD WARS AND A THIRTY YEAR JOURNEY THROUGH ROMANIA which is for my Current Affairs Bookclub. I am so glad I did, and am now looking forward to reading more from the 'concise histories' series from Cambridge University Press. Although, at over 300 pages, I'm not sure I would label it concise. Nor is the writing as bare bones and succinct as the Oxford University Press 'a very short introduction' seri I decided to read some Romanian history prior to reading Robert Kaplan's IN EUROPE'S SHADOW: TWO COLD WARS AND A THIRTY YEAR JOURNEY THROUGH ROMANIA which is for my Current Affairs Bookclub. I am so glad I did, and am now looking forward to reading more from the 'concise histories' series from Cambridge University Press. Although, at over 300 pages, I'm not sure I would label it concise. Nor is the writing as bare bones and succinct as the Oxford University Press 'a very short introduction' series. A CONCISE HISTORY OF ROMANIA is intended as a university text book as well as a historical introduction, and a reader with a specific time period or topic would easily be able to make sense of reading only certain portions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Not as concise as it should have been regarding the political history but generally interesting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Traian

    I think this book should be read by all people interested to better understand our (Romanian) history, culture and politics. The author shows how Romania has been at the crossroads of East and West for the last couple of thousand years and how this influenced our customs, economy, politics, and culture. Hitchins is very balanced and tries to present all sides of the story, allowing the reader to make his/her own decisions about certain unconclusive or controversial elements in Romanian history. I think this book should be read by all people interested to better understand our (Romanian) history, culture and politics. The author shows how Romania has been at the crossroads of East and West for the last couple of thousand years and how this influenced our customs, economy, politics, and culture. Hitchins is very balanced and tries to present all sides of the story, allowing the reader to make his/her own decisions about certain unconclusive or controversial elements in Romanian history. Being an outsider / bystander, he does not sell the reader a specific point of view as other (Romanian) historians usually are inclined to do.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Radu Harabula

    Asa ar trebui sa arate o istorie scurta a Romaniei.. scrisa cu detasare / obiectiv, dar cu intelegere si empatie, fara triumfalisme dar si fara minimizari a la Boia, abordand subiectele natiunii, statului, ecomoniei, culturii, civilizatiei etc etc O singura remarca : autorul numeste ce au facut comunistii dupa 1947 ( mai ales in prima parte) "program de modernizare". Mie unuia ca beneficiar / participant direct , sintagma asta mi se pare nefericit aleasa. In rest foarte aproape de 5 stele.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Filip Iuliana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Keith Hitchins ne prezina istoria romanilor intr-un mod simplu dar totusi complex. Citind aceasta carte am inceput sa iubesc tot ce tine de istorie datorita modului in care autorul a reusit sa transpuna toate evenimetele istorice.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jitariu Catalin

    A short book (for a history of a country) that highlights some key turning points in our country's history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gheorghe Cazacu

    O lucrare buna. Recomand studenților la istorie și celor pasionați de istoria României să parcurgă această lucrare precum și celelalte cărți ale lui Keith Hitchins

  11. 5 out of 5

    Doriana Avram

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tibi

  13. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Smith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stircu Radu

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mihai Toth

  17. 5 out of 5

    RICHARD

  18. 5 out of 5

    Raluca Tigla

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ştefan Bolea

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Chira

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brett

  22. 5 out of 5

    linda ralph

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anamaria Jinaru

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mr David Cushing

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karsten Jensen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Coffee & books

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

  29. 4 out of 5

    Denisa Drăgăneci

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alin

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