DRACULA IS DEAD, by Sheilah Kast and Jim Rosapepe

DRACULA IS DEAD, by Sheilah Kast and Jim Rosapepe

“To [many people], Transylvania means just one thing: Dracula. Never mind the centuries of epic struggle between opposing empires over this strategic territory. Never mind that the clash of cultures here has evolved into some of the most workable ethnic cooperation in Europe […]. Never mind that Transylvania’s landscape is not shrouded in gloomy moss and bats, but beautiful hillsides dotted with plump sheep and curvaceous haystacks.

Never mind all that: Let’s talk vampires.”

New Book:

How Romanians Survived Communism, ended it, and emerged since 1989 as the New Italy

by Sheilah Kast and Jim Rosapepe

Hardcover, 424 pages, 32 black-and-white photographs, 12 maps, Bancroft Press (November 2009). ISBN 978-1-890862-65-7

Monday 23 November 2009, 19.00-21.00, Ratiu Foundation, Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1U 6EQ; Tel. 020 7486 0295, ext. 108. ENTRANCE BY INVITATION ONLY. RSVP at bookings@romanianculturalcentre.org.uk or call us on Tel. 020 7486 0295, ext. 108.

The public will be able to buy the book on the evening at the special price of £15.00 (regular price £18.99), when the authors will also sign copies. If you would like to reserve your book, or are not able to attend the event but would still like to purchase a signed copy, go to www.DraculaIsDead.com to buy it online, or send us a cheque to the value of £15.00, made to the name “Romanian Cultural Centre” by Thursday 19 November 2009 at the latest. For deliveries (UK only), please add the sum of £3.00 (postage and packing) to the price of the book.

“If they gave out gold medals for books, ‘Dracula is Dead’ would get one. It’s a fascinating, long overdue, and timely look at Romania, giving readers an unparalleled view of my country’s many, many layers.” – Nadia Comaneci, Olympic Champion and gymnastics coach

“Romania is a living legacy of Rome […]. Jim and Sheilah are outstanding guides to this country, which is both familiar and exotic.” – Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, 1997-2001

“Vivid travelogue, gripping memoir, and accurate analysis […]. Highly recommended to all those who want to understand the human underpinnings of the struggle for freedom in East-Central Europe.” – Vladimir Tismaneanu, historian

Published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, ‘Dracula is Dead’ takes readers on a memorable tour of Romania – past, present, and future. Through a series of colourful vignettes, former United States ambassador to Romania Jim Rosapepe and distinguished journalist Sheilah Kast, his wife, introduce us to the people, places, and history of Romania, transporting us to a vibrant country most of us know little about.

When people think about Romania, what most often comes to mind are images of Dracula’s fog-enshrouded castle in Transylvania, bleak orphanages, and an oppressed people reeling from Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime. In ‘Dracula is Dead’, the authors set the record straight, presenting a thriving nation that has overcome centuries of tyranny to emerge as a true success story with a bright future – that’s why they call it the New Italy. This compelling volume fills a void in the literature about Romania. On a larger scale, it explains the impact of the fall of Communism in Europe and helps us understand the growth of democracy throughout the world.

As Kast and Rosapepe write in their preface, “Many of Romania’s most difficult challenges in the twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany and the fall of the Ceausescu dictatorship in Romania have been similar to those encountered throughout the former Soviet bloc … This is the story of all 350 million people in two dozen countries.” The authors write from their experiences in Romania over the past decade, including the years when Rosapepe served as US Ambassador (1998 to 2001). They experienced the inner workings of Romania – from the mines to the monasteries, from the hospitals to the software labs. They met Romanians from all walks of life at town meetings, on farms, in remote villages, and in schools and factories. They also spoke with American missionaries and Peace Corps volunteers, entrepreneurs, and Romanian Americans who came to Romania after the fall of Communism in December 1989. Many of their remarkable stories are included in this volume, in their own words.

The book features personages ranging from Ion Iliescu, both a leading figure during Communism and Romania’s first democratically elected president, to church leaders and the heads of the Jewish community, students, small-town mayors, and a colourful cast of real-life characters, including singing monks, IT entrepreneurs, and “The Mother-in-Law of the Year.”

Details on the book can be found on www.DraculaIsDead.com

Region: All
Start Date: 23/11/2009
End Date:
Start Time: 19:20
Venue: Ratiu Foundation/Romanian Cultural Centre
Venue Address: Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street
Website: http://www.romanianculturalcentre.org.uk
Press Tickets: Not Available
Sponsorship: Not Available
Press Tickets:
Name: Alexandra Chiriac
Phone: 020 7486 0295