'Theft of a Nation' Booklaunch Event

2nd February 2005

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THEFT OF A NATION: ROMANIA SINCE COMMUNISM by Professor Tom GALLAGHER Wednesday 2 February 2005 18.00 – 19.30, Grant & Cutler, 55-57 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7AY (bookshop near Oxford Circus station, off Regent Street, behind Liberty) The book will be introduced by Professor Dennis DELETANT. The author will make a short presentation and sign copies of his new book. Followed by a Q&A session. Book launch followed by wine reception. Entrance is FREE but advance booking is necessary, due to limited space. Please confirm by Monday 31 January at bookings@romanianculturalcentre.org.uk or Tel. 020 7439 4052, if you are able to join us. Those who have already confirmed, please ignore this reminder. THEFT OF A NATION: ROMANIA SINCE COMMUNISM Publisher: C. Hurst & Co; xxii, 424pp., 2005 Hbk £45.00, 1-85065-717-3; Pbk £17.50,1-85065-716-5 'This is a unique work on an important, but neglected, subject. It deals with the transition from totalitarian to democratic rule in Romania and examines the question of why the promotion of reform of the political and economic system in Romania has proved to be more difficult than in most of the other countries of Central Europe. In doing so, the book makes a significant contribution to the political history of Romania and Central Europe, as well as to the literature on the dynamics of political and social change in the region.' - Professor Dennis Deletant Book Description (selected from www.amazon.co.uk) 'Romania had the chance of a fresh start politically after the collapse of the brutal and macabre dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. Instead bad governance has persisted within an incomplete democratic system with disastrous results for many millions of people. Tom Gallagher explores why continuity rather than change has been the dominant feature of political life after 1989. He provides an inspiring portrait of the post-communist leadership centred around Ion Iliescu, Adrian Nastase and their clients and allies, showing how defence of private or group interests has usually been their primary concern. He shows how they promoted bogus nationalist movements in order to cover up systematic misuse of state resources. The failure of the non-communist democratic alternative, centred around Emil Constantinescu, Romania's President from 1996 to 2000, to break this pattern of misrule, is closely examined. The author warns that NATO and EU membership are unlikely to provide the impetus for national recovery unless convincing local partners are found, prepared at all times to defend Romania's national interests. (…) Incisive portraits of the political elite, the security services and the new economic oligarchy are provided in this study. Tom Gallagher is convinced that Romania can break free from the communist past and enjoy close and fruitful links with the West only if strong reformist movements emerge from increasingly self-aware sections of society that reject the political practices of the past.' TOM GALLAGHER BA PhD Manc holds the Chair of Ethnic Conflict and Peace at Bradford University in the UK. Much of his teaching and research focuses on the evolution of post-communist states of South Eastern Europe. Tom Gallagher has written two books ‘Outcast Europe: The Balkans From The Ottomans To Milosevic: 1789-1989’, (Routledge 2001) and ‘The Balkans Since The Cold War: From Tyranny to Tragedy’, (Routledge in 2003) which examine the long-term mishandling of the problems of the region by the great powers and the failure of timely conflict prevention measures to avert the tragedy of Bosnia and build a durable peace. Tom Gallagher is a regular analyst for well-known consultancy groups and he is a frequent visitor to the region. Romania, Macedonia, and Kosovo were among the countries he visited in 2003-4. He is one of the few specialists who has expert knowledge of both the former Yugoslavia and those parts of the post-communist Balkans that remained at peace in the 1990s and beyond. Romania is a country about which he can claim particular expertise. ‘Romania After Ceausescu: The Politics of Intolerance’ was published by Edinburgh University Press in 1995. DENNIS DELETANT OBE BA PhD is Professor of Romanian Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London, and at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of several volumes of studies on the recent history of Romania, among them ‘Ceausescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965-89’ (London; New York: Hurst, 1996), and ‘Communist Terror in Romania: Gheorghiu-Dej and the Police State, 1948-1965’, (London; New York: Hurst, 1999). His most recent book is a collection of documents Romania and the Warsaw Pact, 1955-89, co-edited with Mihail Ionescu (SNSPA, 2004). He is currently preparing a book on the regime of Marshal Ion Antonescu (1941-1944). This book launch event is organised by The Romanian Cultural Centre in London together with Grant & Cutler. Founded in 1936, Grant & Cutler is now the UK’s largest foreign-language bookseller, located in London, near Oxford Circus. The shop is open to the public and it also supplies universities, libraries and schools across the world. Although specializing in Western languages and Russian, the shop is now increasing its attention to East European languages/literature, including Romanian. The current Romanian section contains fiction, classics, reference and language learning books and is being developed. Free catalogues are available, including the recent ‘Eastern European Languages’ one and they can also be viewed on the website www.grantandcutler.com