by Paul E. Michelson
This book presents a systematic description and analysis of Romanian political life from the establishment of the modern Romanian national state in 1859 to the abdication crisis of 1871 that marked a turning point in the development of that state. Romanian diplomatic history in the modern period has been well and extensively studied, both in Romania and elsewhere. This has led, ironically, to a slightly distorted picture of Romanian development, one in which external developments appear to take precedence over domestic events and processes. While the histories of smaller countries — especially one surrounded, as the Romanians were, by three less than congenial empires — may be more influenced by international affairs than larger or more isolated nations, it would be a mistake to think of Romanian history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as primarily dominated by diplomatic events and forces. This study tries to provide a corrective to such tendencies.
This title was selected by Choice as an “Outstanding Academic Book” for 1998. Review: “Michelson’s approach is one of careful and detailed narrative, based on his assumption that ‘political-historical narrative’ still provides a necessary foundation for the study of modern history. His long years of immersion in the archives and mastery of such sources are evident from his text and the notes. This work is thorough and reliable” — P.W. Knoll, Choice (October, 1998).
Paul E. Michelson is distinguished professor of history at Huntington College in Huntington Indiana USA. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University and was a Fulbright and IREX fellow in Romania in 1971-1973, 1982-1983, and 1989-1990. He is the author of Conflict and Crisis (1987) and co-author of A History of Romania (1995) edited by Kurt W. Treptow. He has served as the secretary/editor of the Society for Romanian Studies since 1979.