The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the Politics of Culture
By Charles King
Hoover Institution Press, 2000, 303 pp.
Small and remote from the attention of much of the world, Moldova nonetheless possesses a history embodying all of the intricacy of a southern European state at the intersection of great empires and great turmoil. Moldova (formerly Bessarabia) also presents in sharp relief the dilemmas of a people struggling to locate themselves and build a new order on the ruins of their Soviet past-while coping with a separatist movement that has torn away a large chunk of territory. King is the first to explore in lucid detail this harsh linkage, tracing through the ages Moldova's transfer back and forth between Romania and Russia. He deals particularly well with the political-cultural effects of Soviet rule and the challenges of transcending that rule's creature, the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.