Dracula is Dead

How Romanians Survived Communism, Ended it and Emerged since 1989 as the New Italy

By Sheilah Kast; Jim Rosapepe
(Bancroft Press, Hardcover, 9781890862657, 424pp.)

Publication Date: November 2009

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In December 1989, Romanians overthrew dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, ending more than forty years of Communist totalitarianism. Twenty years later, Romania is a thriving democracy, an economic success, and a member of NATO and the European Union. What's the story behind the Romanian miracle?

Join former United States ambassador to Romania Jim Rosapepe and his wife, award-winning journalist Sheilah Kast, on an amazing tour of an amazing land beyond Dracula, beyond orphans, beyond Communism, to the vibrant culture, unique history, and 21st century skills that define modern Romania. You'll travel to Bucharest, the capital city once called the Paris of the East, where centuries-old Orthodox Christianity thrives in tandem with cutting-edge information technology; to Maramure in the north, where the Holocaust took a great toll on a once vibrant Jewish community that included Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel; to Transylvania, home not just to Vladepe , the real-life Dracula, but to the historic struggles between Romanians and Hungarians, now at peace; and to fascinating spots in-between.

Along the way, you'll meet people, famous and unknown, who have made Romania - people like King Michael, who in World War II, at age twenty-two, led a coup to unseat a fascist dictator, only to be forced into exile by the Communists; Ion Iliescu, both a leading figure during Communism and Romania s first democratically elected president; and Judith Katona, a young woman who, like many Romanians, went abroad to study after the Revolution but returned to create the new Romania.

More than a travelogue or memoir, Dracula Is Dead: How Romanians Survived Communism, Ended It, and Emerged since 1989 as the New Italy presents Romania through American eyes, taking you with Jim and Sheilah as they discover a remarkable country of boundless hospitality, brilliant skills, and a bright future in a peaceful Europe. As a strong, creative, charming, democratic nation following years of dictatorship and isolation, Romania really is the new Italy. See for yourself.

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