From the "New York Times" bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan, named one of the world s Top 100 Global Thinkers by "Foreign Policy" magazine, comes a riveting journey through one of Europe s frontier countries and a potent examination of the forces that will determine Europe s fate in the postmodern age.
Robert Kaplan first visited Romania in the 1970s, when he was a young journalist and the country was a bleak Communist backwater. It was one of the darkest corners of Europe, but few Westerners were paying attention. What ensued was a lifelong obsession with a critical, often overlooked country a country that, today, is key to understanding the current threat that Russia poses to Europe. "In Europe s Shadow" is a vivid blend of memoir, travelogue, journalism, and history, a masterly work thirty years in the making the story of a journalist coming of age, and a country struggling to do the same. Through the lens of one country, Kaplan examines larger questions of geography, imperialism, the role of fate in international relations, the Cold War, the Holocaust, and more.
Here Kaplan illuminates the fusion of the Latin West and the Greek East that created Romania, the country that gave rise to Ion Antonescu, Hitler s chief foreign accomplice during World War II, and the country that was home to the most brutal strain of Communism under Nicolae Ceau escu. Romania past and present are rendered in cinematic prose: the ashen faces of citizens waiting in bread lines in Cold War era Bucharest; the B r gan Steppe, laid bare by centuries of foreign invasion; the grim labor camps of the Black Sea Canal; the majestic Gothic church spires of Transylvania and Maramure . Kaplan finds himself in dialogue with the great thinkers of the past, and with the Romanians of today, the philosophers, priests, and politicians those who struggle to keep the flame of humanism alive in the era of a resurgent Russia.
Upon his return to Romania in 2013 and 2014, Kaplan found the country transformed yet again now a traveler s destination shaped by Western tastes, yet still emerging from the long shadows of Hitler and Stalin. "In Europe s Shadow" is the story of an ideological and geographic frontier and the book you must read in order to truly understand the crisis with Russia, and within Europe itself.
Praise for "In Europe s Shadow"
A] haunting yet ultimately optimistic examination of the human condition as found in Romania . . . Kaplan s account of the centuries leading up to the most turbulent of all the twentieth is both sweeping and replete with alluring detail. "The New York Times Book Review
This book reveals the confident, poetical Kaplan . . . but also a reflective, political Kaplan, seeking at times to submerge his gift for romantic generalization in respectful attention to the ideas of others. Timothy Snyder, "The Washington Post"
A serious yet impassioned survey of Romania . . . Kaplan s] method is that of a foreign correspondent, firing off dispatches from the South China Sea to North Yemen to the darkest corners of Eastern Europe. . . . Kaplan is a regional geographer par excellence. "The Christian Science Monitor"
Kaplan is one of America s foremost writers on the region. . . . In a series of deep dives into the region s past Byzantine, Ottoman, Habsburg and Soviet he finds parallels and echoes that help us understand the present. "The Wall Street Journal"
Kaplan moves seamlessly from sights, sounds, and conversations to the resonance of history. "Foreign Affairs""
In Europe's Shadow
A Journey Through Two Cold Wars in Romania and Beyond