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Romania: Borderland of Europe (Topographics) Paperback – 30 Nov 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (30 Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861891032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861891037
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 649,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

a well-written, well-translated and well-illustrated book ... much more than a tourist guide ... both useful and enlightening from a historical and cultural point of view. Choice ... an interesting and timely contribution to our growing understanding of the regional geography of a post-communist country about which relatively little is known ... Boia's book is noteworthy as it is neither a simple regional geography nor is it a travelogue ... a wonderful book about Romania ... a useful aid to critical understanding - one unfettered by the more common preoccupation with potted histories and dry trade statistics. Scholars will value it for its theoretically sophisticated approach and its respect for its readership. Geography

About the Author

Lucian Boia is Professor of History at the University of Bucharest. He is the author of Great Historians of the Modern Age (1991), La Fin du Monde: une Histoire sans Fin (1999), and Forever Young: A Cultural History of Longevity (Reaktion, 2004).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a very good introduction to all things Romanian. Romania's two most famous sons may be Dracula (Vlad Tepes) and Ceausescu and readers after information on these two won't be disappointed. The real strength of the book is to provide the cultural and historical contexts behind the legends. Vlad the Impaler may be known as the caped befanged fiend of western cinema but this particular Wallachian Prince is also one of the folk heroes of Romania, one whom Ceausescu also greatly admired. It is perhaps not so odd that one with such a fiercesome reputation could become a source of pride, particularily when one considers the deeds of Richard the Lionheart, King Arthur and so on whose names reverberates with bloodshed.
Lucian Boia writes in a compelling manner about Budapest, about systematization, about tower blocks and the days when Bucharest was known as little Paris. The book has a wonderful warm tone constantly expressing his affection for his country, even when discussing darker episodes in Romania's past and uncertainty to come. This is a marvellous book and a great introduction for anyone wishing to learn about a much overlooked country.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I devoured this book! 21 Jan 2004
By Annie D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After living for two months in the Romanian region of Oltenia, I came home obsessed with the place. I wanted to know everything I could about its history, culture, language, and people. This book was on my wish list for quite a while before I went ahead and bought it myself. Smartest thing I've done all year. It is a highly informative read about the history of the land, all the way from Rome's Trajan to the present day, and the aftermath of Romania's extremely destructive bout of communism. Boia writes candidly about the spotty past of the country, even to the extent of sometimes portraying Romanians unfavorably. A lot of emphasis is put on the relatively recent history of post-WW2 events, and goes into depth about Ceausescu and his appalling legacy. The only thing about the book that I was slightly disappointed in was the focus of attention on Bucharest. It was not an area of the country I spent much time in, and I wish Boia would have spread out and explained more about Oltenia and the Banat; but it was still very intriguing. I would enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the country.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
An informative, moving, well-written book. A great read!!! 14 Jan 2003
By Mihaela Mehr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For someone who plans on visiting Romania or is simply fascinated by this country's unique and complex position in Southeastern Europe, for those interested in its culture, history and people (and the events and phenomena that have helped to define this history) or for those, like myself, who are attempting to piece together the puzzle of their national identity by going back to their origins.... this is a wonderful point of departure. Boia's narrative is very powerful, as he takes the breathless reader on an unforgettable journey through the various (both necessary and unfortunate) stages in the protagonist's development, in order that the reader may try to understand the complex, and often conflicting, make-up of this fascinating land (and, in the process, as was the case with me, gain a better understanding of oneself).
Unlike traditional historians, Boia doesn't just list facts; he analyzes Romania's condition throughout the ages and the events, ideologies and people that have made it what it is today, and at the same time, urges the reader to analyze them and to draw his or her own conclusions.
(I simply could not put down this book until I finished it.)
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An informative, moving, well-written book. A great read!!! 14 Jan 2003
By Mihaela Mehr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For someone who plans on visiting Romania or is simply fascinated by this country's unique and complex position in Southeastern Europe, for those interested in its culture, history and people (and the events and phenomena that have helped to define this history) or for those, like myself, who are attempting to piece together the puzzle of their national identity by going back to their origins.... this is a wonderful point of departure. Boia's narrative is very powerful, as he takes the breathless reader on an unforgettable journey through the various (both necessary and unfortunate) stages in the protagonist's development, in order that the reader may try to understand the complex, and often conflicting, make-up of this fascinating land (and, in the process, as was the case with me, gain a better understanding of oneself).
Unlike traditional historians, Boia doesn't just list facts; he analyzes Romania's condition throughout the ages and the events, ideologies and people that have made it what it is today, and at the same time, urges the reader to analyze them and to draw his or her own conclusions.
(I simply could not put down this book until I finished it.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Many Histories 21 Aug 2007
By Roger Crowley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thought the book was especially useful because Lucian Boia tells us right off the bat that there is not one, but many histories, of Romania. This is one of those histories, fortunately it's one that is well-researched. Some histories have been doctored to present a particular ideology while others try to be more objective. I suppose it's up to the reader to ultimately choose which history they want to believe. But at least this author was willing to admit that he didn't know everything, but was still willing to present the story of Romania's past to the best of his ability. I found that a refreshing change from those historians who pretend to have the ultimate answers.
Opening a door to the future - a fact based and level-headed history and description of Romania 17 Oct 2014
By Laz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I learned of Lucian Boia watching a Utube video, in which a Romanian history lecturer mentioned his name. He was right there at Amazon, and I got his book right away to my IPad. I did read it in a day! His book is a revelation for me, and an outstanding example of courage and moral integrity! I was born and grew up in Romania, and personally witnessed its history from the early 50's to January 1989. The book is the first of its kind, in combining ancient, medieval and more recent history with the description of the places and the people from the point of wiew of an objective observer and scientist, who remains a loving and proud representative of his nation. During my years spent in Romania I have witnessed the past changing way faster than the future many times! It is of outmost courage, even in today's Romania, to leave aside the myths and politically oriented lies, and I suspect the author is not popular with many contemporary Romanian groups. He certainly earned my respect and sympathy! The only way to overcome hardships of the past - and present - is telling the truth! And that is often unsafe, even for allegorical works, and so much so for a historical work! I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the past, present and future of this amazing "Borderland of Europe"!
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