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Ana Pauker: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Communist [Hardcover]

Robert Levy

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Book Description

21 Mar 2001
In her own day, Ana Pauker was named "The Most Powerful Woman in the World" by Time magazine. Today, when she is remembered at all, she is thought of as the puppet of Soviet communism in Romania, blindly enforcing the most brutal and repressive Stalinist regime. Robert Levy's new biography changes the picture dramatically, revealing a woman of remarkable strength, dominated by conflict and contradiction far more than by dogmatism. Telling the story of Pauker's youth in an increasingly anti-Semitic environment, her commitment to a revolutionary career, and her rise in the Romanian Communist movement, Levy makes no attempt to whitewash Pauker's life and actions, but rather explores every contour of the complicated persona he found expressed in masses of newly accessible archival documents.

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"This is not a psychodrama. Rather, this is a sociopolitical tragedy, extremely valuable, deeply researched, and fascinating. There is very little that is as important as this book about any of the top communist leaders other than the most famous ones such as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao....The subject is so important, the book so well done and so revealing, and the human interest so compelling, Levy's book will become one of the essential works on the history of communism in Eastern Europe." - Daniel Chirot, author of Modern Tyrants "This outstanding, thought-provoking political biography of one of the most prominent figures of European communism offers an original and balanced approach to Pauker's contradictory role in the history of both Romanian and international communism.... Engagingly written and very convincingly structured, this is not a dry historical account but a vivid reconstruction of a turbulent political life." - Vladimir Tismaneanu, author of Fantasies of Salvation"

About the Author

Robert Levy completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1998.

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been seen before. This had occurred in postrevolutionary France, where emancipated Jews flocked to the urban centers and appeared to adapt more easily to the free-enterprise economy of the new liberal order. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
19 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars from a 20 Oct 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Sorry, no arguments will convince me to relativize the following fact: at the time of her political activity, Ana Pauker had to know the criminal (genocidal, to be accurate) nature of the political party she was a leader of. My mother still cringes when she remembers the slogan "Ana Pauker si cu Dej - baga spaima in burgeji" (Ana Pauker and [Gheorghiu] Dej scare the bourgeois) cried out at forced mass rallies. The "bourgeois" mentioned in this aggresive rhime had reasons to be scared of Pauker. Hundreds of thousands Romanians are estimated to have been emprisoned for political reasons, thousands of them tortured and killed, burried without a grave. Pauker believed she can "change things from inside?". Would _you_ join the Nazi party (for example) to improve its ethics???
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive and Informative 25 Mar 2004
By Cal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Ana Pauker" is an excellent and compelling biography that blows old notions about East European communists out of the water. While hardly glossing over Ana Pauker's serious delusions and often cynical compromises, Robert Levy meticulously and convincingly demonstrates that Pauker was remarkably resistant to Soviet dictates during the most perilous years of Stalin's reign. This is a fascinating, well-written account based on recently unearthed communist archives and personal interviews of participants and eye-witnesses. Anyone interested in communist history or contemporary East European Jewish history will find this book utterly informative.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive and Compelling 25 Mar 2004
By Roberta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Ana Pauker" is an excellent and compelling account that blows old notions of East European communists out of the water. While not glossing over Ana Pauker's serious delusions and often cynical compromises, Robert Levy convincingly demonstrates that Pauker was remarkably resistant to Soviet dictates during the most perilous period of Stalin's reign. Meticulously documented with a massive amount of archival documents and interviews of participants and eye-witnesses, this wonderfully written book is a must-read for anyone interested in communist and East European Jewish history.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lucid cut in the political life of Ana Pauker 11 Feb 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a sound and wise biography of Ana Pauker. An exceptional volume. An examination of the Romanian communist system and its leaders was long due--beyond false anxieties. And Levy does it so superbly, blending history with years of archival and interview-based research. A lucid cut in the political life of a controversial Romanian communist leader, Ana Pauker.
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