Thursday, August 2, 2012

the last book I ever read (Off Balance, excerpt one)

from Off Balance: A Memoir by Dominique Moceanu with Paul and Teri Williams:

To better understand my parents today, we have to look back to their homeland, Romania. Situated north of the Balkan Peninsula in Central Europe, Romania is a country well known for its history of hard-line communism. It fell under communist control in 1947, after the previous ruler, King Michael, was driven into exile. My parents grew up under the brutal dictatorship of Nicolae Ceauşescu, who rose to power in the 1960s and continued to rule until the Romanian Revolution in 1989. Romania's economy fell apart under Ceauşescu's reign, leaving most citizens starved for food, work, and a sense of hope. Meanwhile, Ceauşescu himself lived lavishly and misappropriated the country's resources for his own benefit. Ceauşescu's secret police (the Securitate) regulated almost every aspect of daily life--from deciding who could have children to who was permitted to own a typewriter. Human rights violations under Ceauşescu were legendary.

It's not every day you meet someone who was raised in a communist country during a period referred to as the "reign of terror," let alone when they happen to be your parents.

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