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An insider's account of Romania's emergence from communism control In the 1970s American attorney Alfred H. Moses was approached on the streets of Bucharest by young Jews seeking help to emigrate to Israel. This became the author's mission until the communist regime fell in 1989. Before that Moses had met periodically with Romania's communist dictator, Nicolae An insider's account of Romania's emergence from communism control In the 1970s American attorney Alfred H. Moses was approached on the streets of Bucharest by young Jews seeking help to emigrate to Israel. This became the author's mission until the communist regime fell in 1989. Before that Moses had met periodically with Romania's communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, to persuade him to allow increased Jewish emigration. This experience deepened Moses's interest in Romania—an interest that culminated in his serving as U.S. ambassador to the country from 1994 to 1997 during the Clinton administration. The ambassador's time of service in Romania came just a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. During this period Romania faced economic paralysis and was still buried in the rubble of communism. Over the next three years Moses helped nurture Romania's nascent democratic institutions, promoted privatization of Romania's economy, and shepherded Romania on the path toward full integration with Western institutions. Through frequent press conferences, speeches, and writings in the Romanian and Western press and in his meetings with Romanian officials at the highest level, he stated in plain language the steps Romania needed to take before it could be accepted in the West as a free and democratic country. Bucharest Diary: An American Ambassador's Journey is filled with firsthand stories, including colorful anecdotes, of the diplomacy, both public and private, that helped Romania recover from four decades of communist rule and, eventually, become a member of both NATO and the European Union. Romania still struggles today with the consequences of its history, but it has reached many of its post-communist goals, which Ambassador Moses championed at a crucial time. This book will be of special interest to readers of history and public affairs—in particular those interested in Jewish life under communist rule in Eastern Europe and how the United States and its Western partners helped rebuild an important country devastated by communism.


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An insider's account of Romania's emergence from communism control In the 1970s American attorney Alfred H. Moses was approached on the streets of Bucharest by young Jews seeking help to emigrate to Israel. This became the author's mission until the communist regime fell in 1989. Before that Moses had met periodically with Romania's communist dictator, Nicolae An insider's account of Romania's emergence from communism control In the 1970s American attorney Alfred H. Moses was approached on the streets of Bucharest by young Jews seeking help to emigrate to Israel. This became the author's mission until the communist regime fell in 1989. Before that Moses had met periodically with Romania's communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, to persuade him to allow increased Jewish emigration. This experience deepened Moses's interest in Romania—an interest that culminated in his serving as U.S. ambassador to the country from 1994 to 1997 during the Clinton administration. The ambassador's time of service in Romania came just a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. During this period Romania faced economic paralysis and was still buried in the rubble of communism. Over the next three years Moses helped nurture Romania's nascent democratic institutions, promoted privatization of Romania's economy, and shepherded Romania on the path toward full integration with Western institutions. Through frequent press conferences, speeches, and writings in the Romanian and Western press and in his meetings with Romanian officials at the highest level, he stated in plain language the steps Romania needed to take before it could be accepted in the West as a free and democratic country. Bucharest Diary: An American Ambassador's Journey is filled with firsthand stories, including colorful anecdotes, of the diplomacy, both public and private, that helped Romania recover from four decades of communist rule and, eventually, become a member of both NATO and the European Union. Romania still struggles today with the consequences of its history, but it has reached many of its post-communist goals, which Ambassador Moses championed at a crucial time. This book will be of special interest to readers of history and public affairs—in particular those interested in Jewish life under communist rule in Eastern Europe and how the United States and its Western partners helped rebuild an important country devastated by communism.

41 review for Bucharest Diary: Romania's Journey from Darkness to Light

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ionut Iamandi

    Masivă, copertată, cu foi albe impecabile, cu prefața și Cuvîntul înainte pe post de cravată și ac de cravată bine asortate, Jurnal de București este o apariție elegantă în orice librărie sau tîrg de carte. Și asta pentru că așa e firesc să arate cartea scrisă de un diplomat, care în lumea oamenilor e canonul de etichetă prin excelență. Dar nu e vorba numai de formă, aici se potrivește și conținutul. Observațiile din cartea ambasadorului Alfred Moses sînt formulate deferent, logic și cursiv, exa Masivă, copertată, cu foi albe impecabile, cu prefața și Cuvîntul înainte pe post de cravată și ac de cravată bine asortate, Jurnal de București este o apariție elegantă în orice librărie sau tîrg de carte. Și asta pentru că așa e firesc să arate cartea scrisă de un diplomat, care în lumea oamenilor e canonul de etichetă prin excelență. Dar nu e vorba numai de formă, aici se potrivește și conținutul. Observațiile din cartea ambasadorului Alfred Moses sînt formulate deferent, logic și cursiv, exact ca un mesaj diplomatic care exprimă fix cît trebuie să exprime, nici mai mult, nici mai puțin. Poate că, în cazul autorului, se simte în mod particular influența profesiei, cea de avocat, în care, de asemenea, din cîteva zvîcniri precise, propozițiile trebuie să ajungă clare la urechea judecătorului. Cronica integrală: https://dilemaveche.ro/sectiune/la-zi...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex Broughton

    While I did finish the book, that is more because I am an optimist than because it was a very good read. The topic (Romania) and the time period (the 1990s) are both of strong interest to me. However, the book really is not about Romania in the 1990s. The book is really about the author (The American Ambassador to Romania in the mid 1990s). The title of the book is very descriptive (Bucharest Diary), while the sub-title (Romania's Journey from Darkness to Light) is not descriptive at all. The bo While I did finish the book, that is more because I am an optimist than because it was a very good read. The topic (Romania) and the time period (the 1990s) are both of strong interest to me. However, the book really is not about Romania in the 1990s. The book is really about the author (The American Ambassador to Romania in the mid 1990s). The title of the book is very descriptive (Bucharest Diary), while the sub-title (Romania's Journey from Darkness to Light) is not descriptive at all. The book really is just a condensed version of the author's diary. The book consists of just a chronological list of what the ambassador was doing at various times, which inhibits the ability of the reader to follow the various topics of interest (e.g., foreign investment, Romanian nationalism, the quest for NATO membership, etc.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Lipman

    Moses has been criticised a bit for being full of himself in this book - but I rather liked his account. It’s a detailed look at Romania’s recovery in the critical/seminal years post-89, and highly informative. It’s true American influence expressed through US Ambassador Moses is strong, and he’s not shy to highlight his own role - but then I have no doubt that’s the way it was. Rather this than that Romania had turned back toward Russia. Overriding impression from Moses’ account: the importance Moses has been criticised a bit for being full of himself in this book - but I rather liked his account. It’s a detailed look at Romania’s recovery in the critical/seminal years post-89, and highly informative. It’s true American influence expressed through US Ambassador Moses is strong, and he’s not shy to highlight his own role - but then I have no doubt that’s the way it was. Rather this than that Romania had turned back toward Russia. Overriding impression from Moses’ account: the importance of connections. No surprises there, then.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steven Bragg

    This is an extremely detailed account of the U.S. ambassador's activities in Romania. In essence, it shows the level of effort you need to delve into in order to be a first-class ambassador. He was exceedingly active in pursuing the interests of both the U.S. and Romania, and clearly did a great job in all respects. The only failing of the book is the extreme level of detail; however, you need it in order to see just how much work is involved. This is an extremely detailed account of the U.S. ambassador's activities in Romania. In essence, it shows the level of effort you need to delve into in order to be a first-class ambassador. He was exceedingly active in pursuing the interests of both the U.S. and Romania, and clearly did a great job in all respects. The only failing of the book is the extreme level of detail; however, you need it in order to see just how much work is involved.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emilie Weidl

    The title of this book was really misleading. It was less of a book about Romania's progress, and more of a book about Alfred Moses's personal accomplishments. He also treated neoliberalism as synonymous with progress. Moses described how he essentially controlled Romania as the American Ambassador in Bucharest, then simultaneously said he, and the US, abstained from political domination there. He seemed oblivious to just how hegemonic America was at the time. The title of this book was really misleading. It was less of a book about Romania's progress, and more of a book about Alfred Moses's personal accomplishments. He also treated neoliberalism as synonymous with progress. Moses described how he essentially controlled Romania as the American Ambassador in Bucharest, then simultaneously said he, and the US, abstained from political domination there. He seemed oblivious to just how hegemonic America was at the time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andy Vavilov

    Throughout the book I felt like the author empathised too much his influence, making it look like he was the actual leader of the country, while letting Romania s evolution on the second plane. I finished the book only for the insights (the political leaders’s statements which I can t verify but, looking at the author’s biography I incline to think they’re truthful). Overall this book wasn’t a pleasuring experience for me, the final rating is 2/5.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Serban Matei

    For a getting a Romanian perspective it is very important. The book it’s a very insightful review of the ups and downs of a very important period for the contemporary Romania. I’m not sure it’s about bragging here as seen by some. It’s a reality and times of that years can prove it. At least the witnesses of those years...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    Ambassador Moses provides an informative and chronological account of his time in Bucharest. Large parts of the book are rather dry and occasionally Moses seems to enjoy patting himself on the back.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fernando

    Interesting read. Learned about the consul life but I was lookin gmore insights about the romanians everyday life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ionel

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Schae

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kieran

  13. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Nicholson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cristian Popa

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marlo

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Flatley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Freundel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Peter Birek

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Iulia

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy Zhang

  25. 5 out of 5

    Blaire Berry

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lauraquintin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anne Marie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gilbert Gluck

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frank Lockwood

  31. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Morgan

  32. 4 out of 5

    Robin Coopersmith

  33. 4 out of 5

    Louisa Duemling

  34. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  35. 5 out of 5

    James

  36. 5 out of 5

    Liora

  37. 5 out of 5

    James Gallimore

  38. 5 out of 5

    Jay Sauler

  39. 4 out of 5

    Iuliana Ruber

  40. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  41. 4 out of 5

    M

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