Communism has cast a long shadow over Romania. The passage of little over a quarter of a century since the overthrow in December 1989 of Romania’s last Communist leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu, offers a symbolic standpoint from which to penetrate that shadow and to throw light upon the entire period of Communist rule in the country. An appropriate point of departure is the observation that Romania’s trajectory as a Communist state within the Soviet bloc was unlike that of any other. That trajectory has its origins in the social structures, attitudes and policies in the pre-Communist period. The course of that trajectory is the subject of this inquiry.
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1. The Early Years of the Romanian Communist Party 2. The Coup of 23 August 1944 and the Path to Power of the Communist Party 3. The Application of the Totalitarian Blueprint 4. The Securitate as an Instrument of Coercion 5. Gheorghiu-Dej’s Path to Dominance 6. Gheorghiu-Dej’s Consolidation of Power 7. The Romanian Gulag 8. Armed Resistance 9. Asserting Autonomy, 1956-1965 10. The Ascent of Nicolae Ceaușescu 11. Ceaușescu’s Development of Autonomy 12. The Paradox of Foreign Policy 13. Promoting National Identity: Transylvania and Bessarabia 14. Compliance towards the Regime 15. Dissent 16. Degeneration and Isolation 17. The Romanian Revolution 18. Epilogue