Detail of Moldovan crafts

The Moldovans

Romania, Russia, and the Politics of Culture

Cover for The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the Politics of Culture

The first English-language book to present a complete picture of this intriguing east European borderland, The Moldovans illuminates the perennial problems of identity politics and cultural change that the country has endured.

Throughout the past two centuries, Moldova was the object of a variety of culture-building efforts from Russian, Romanian, and Soviet influences before emerging as an independent state in 1991. The author highlights the political uses of culture — the ways in which language, history, and identity can be manipulated by political elites — and examines why some attempts to mold identity succeed where others fail.

He also reveals why, in the case of Moldova, a project of identity construction succeeded in creating a state but failed to make an independent nation.

Presents in sharp relief the dilemmas of a people struggling to locate themselves and build a new order on the ruins of their Soviet past.

Foreign Affairs

Thoroughly researched, engagingly written, and completely up to date, this is a definitive book that will long serve as the best study of Moldova in any language … Its strategic and precarious location between the Balkans and the former Soviet Union and its complex ethnic composition make Moldova a fragile new nation well worth knowing about.

Daniel Chirot, University of Washington

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