The Unique Experience of Romania

Annotated Bibliography

  1. Andrei Codrescu, The Hole in the Flag: A Romanian Exile’s Story of Return and Revolution (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1991).
    Readable, compelling, personal account by a Romanian-born poet, literature professor, writer, and commentator on National Public Radio. While this book is more journalistic than scholarly, Codrescu has done some research and a lot of interviews and the book came out soon after the events. It reads very “fresh” and captures the atmosphere of 1989-90..
  2. Richard Andrew Hall, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” East European Politics and Societies vol. 13, no. 3 (1999): 510-542.
    Hall is a CIA analyst. The article tackles issues of interpretation of the 1989 revolution by political scientists, historians and journalists. Hall argues against the “staged war” conspiracy theory. He claims that the “terrorists” responsible for fighting on in late December were members of the Securitate, and he shows that Securitate accounts are responsible for spreading rumors that the violence in December was staged in order to create the myth of a heroic revolutionary origin for the National Salvation Front that had merely staged a palace coup in deposing Ceauşescu..
  3. Nestor Ratesh, Romania: The Entangled Revolution (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1991).
    Written soon after the events by the former head of Radio Free Europe's Romanian Broadcasting Department, Ratesh relies on published and broadcast sources as well as interviews. His knowledge of Romanian language sources is superb. This is a very clear and readable account by a Romanian émigré who combines research and analysis with a “feel” for Romania’s politics and personalities..
  4. Steven D. Roper, ‘The Romanian Revolution from a Theoretical Perspective’. Communist and Post Communist Studies vol. 27, no. 4 (1994): pp. 401-410.
    Roper measures the Romanian revolution against various theories of what a revolution is. The article is useful in putting the Romanian events in comparative perspective..
  5. Peter Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (Ithaca: Cornell 2005).
    A scholarly account of the revolution by a British political scientist who did years of research in Romanian language archives and publications. It is a nuanced and full account benefiting from the time elapsed since 1989. Siani-Davies deals not only with the events, but also with the perceptions of and myths about the events..