Robert D. Kaplan’s new book entitled “In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond” (Random House, New York 2016) – focuses on Romania, but reflects his wide knowledge of the entire area of East-Central Europe. This challenging new book of Robert D. Kaplan addresses a host of regional issues and is many-faceted.
According to the review posted on the website of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research (a conservative Washington DC-based think tank founded in 1985 during the height of the President Ronald Reagan years), Robert D. Kaplan (who is fascinated by the uniqueness, culturally, historically and ethnically, of Romania – a key country to understanding Southeastern Europe) takes up historical questions, old and new challenges, socio-political and philosophical issues, as well as contemporary worries, politics and geopolitics. The author notices that for Romania geography was a nightmare and history was a tragedy (he consulted, among others, George Cristian Maior, former Director of Romanian Domestic Intelligence and currently Ambassador to Washington).
The reviewer, Nicholas Dima, captured the reader’s attention with his opening sentence (“Leaving Something to History”), gave the essential information about this challenging book, determining the author’s main ideas and how they are developed, offering the reader some understanding of the author’s thoughts, supporting this documented work’s evaluation with evidence from the text, and proving that he knows not only the work under review, but also the author. He also proved the understanding of the author’s purpose, established the book’s authority and made a final judgement regarding this book.
It is worth remembering that the reviewer, Nicholas Dima, is a strong advocate of freedom of learning, of education, of seeking knowledge – as the foundation for a better generation today and for a better society tomorrow – in his capacities as a professor, a writer and a “Voice of America” journalist. His American professional career (he received a doctoral degree from Columbia University in New York) includes working 20 years for Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, and teaching college, university and US Military schools for another ten years. Among his most rewarding achievements were meeting Kings, Presidents, and Prime ministers as a VOA reporter and editor, teaching American officers up to the rank of full colonel (for example, Professor and Director for European Studies at the US Army, J.F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, NC., 1985-1988), teaching in the US and Africa, and promoting democracy, education, and human values world-wide.