An American Couple Guides You Around Romania!

Ten years ago, on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of Communism in Romania, we published Dracula Is Dead. Five years later we updated it in a second edition.

Since 1989, Romania’s economy has grown by 220% and its population has shrunk by sixteen percent as the birthrate fell and younger people left for higher pay in Spain and Italy. Romania has joined NATO and the European Union, and just re-elected an ethnic German as president. Most important, Romania is now a normal European country with largely open borders and confidence that its future is democratic.

That doesn’t mean it’s Sweden or Canada. Romania is still a Latin island in a sea of Slavs. It’s still in Europe. It’s still a culture, as the Italian Ambassador to Romania who served with Jim described it, “like my own country, it is stronger on spontaneity than on discipline.”

It’s no surprise that in the last decade this creativity has helped Romania become a world class player in IT — and in cinema. Romanian films such as “Tales from the Golden Age,” “12:08 East of Bucharest,” and “4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days” all won awards at Cannes in recent years — and have more fans abroad than at home. For the first time in the history of the Cannes film festival, TWO Romanian movies were racing for Palme d’Or prize in 2016, “Bacalaureat” by Cristian Mungiu and “Sierranevada” by Cristi Puiu.

Romania’s three decades since the Revolution has been a bumpy ride — robust politics, economic cycles, and a war next door.

But, through it all, Romania has emerged more free, more prosperous, and more secure.

It also has preserved its unique culture — Romance language, Latin culture, Christian Orthodox religion, tolerant inclusion of ethnic minorities, rural village life, and love for (almost) all things American.


Jim and Sheilah discuss book with
former CNN correspondent Bob Franken