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A Tale of Two Villages

Alina Mungiu-Pippidi


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1This book is based on fieldwork carried out in Romania in 2001– 2002 with a group of my students in the political anthropology class at the National School of Political Studies: Emanuel Răuƫă, Victoria Timofte, Ion Naval, Ştejărel Olaru, Ionuƫ, Ştefan, and Dana Ceauşescu. Interviews were also filmed, forming the basis of a BBC documentary I wrote and directed, “A Tale of Two Villages”, broadcast by the BBC World Service in the summer of 2003. The original project was a collaboration between the Centre for Comparative Anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the Romanian Institute for Recent History. A grant from the Open Society Institute enabled the training of students and the fieldwork. The premature death of Gerard Althabe, originally my academic partner in this project, and the planned co-author of the Romanian and French versions, prevented his involvement beyond the stage of training the operators and reviewing my fieldwork. Some of the people I interviewed, including Elisabeta Rizea and Nel Preda, both survivors of the communist prisons, have also meanwhile passed away. The present version of this book is dedicated to all those who tried to help this story come to light. It is an update of the Romanian (Polirom) and French (L’Harmattan) versions, and has been translated by Angela Jianu from the Romanian and edited by the author.

© Central European University Press, 2010

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