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Bucharest Diary: Romania's Journey from Darkness to Light

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  19 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 363 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Brookings Institution Press
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Ionut Iamandi
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 21st-century
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 ...more
Alex Broughton
May 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Jonathan Lipman
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Steven Bragg
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Émilie Weidl
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Andy Vavilov
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
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.
Serban Matei
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
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...
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting read. Learned about the consul life but I was lookin gmore insights about the romanians everyday life.
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