Romania’s Resort Tourism

Romania has 275 kilometers of Black Sea coastline. The country tries to attract tourists by touting its sandy beaches, temperate climate, spas, and resort hotels. It’s tough competition. I met a couple of Romanians who said straight out that they prefer to vacation along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. And Turkey is a more popular destination for European and American travelers. Tanase Barde,...
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The Populist Reformation

Europe underwent a profound transformation in the 16th century with the Protestant reformation. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and their co-religionists attacked the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church and its corrupt practices. They also advocated a different, more direct relationship between the individual and God. They were aided by the new technology of the printing press, which churned out...
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The Goldilocks Generation

If you were of a certain age and with certain skills, the changes that took place in 1989 in East-Central Europe created an enormous world of opportunity. Those young enough to change with the times could suddenly rise to the heights of politics and business. And if you spoke English – or were willing to learn it very quickly – you could become an intermediary with the West and enter an...
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The Greatest Threat to Europe

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Today, Europe has left war behind. In place of jostling empires, there is the European Union, a modern family beset by the usual bickering but nothing that a smothering bureaucracy can’t handle. Even Sarajevo, where the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked world conflict in 1914 and a ghastly siege claimed...
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The Lost Treasure of Revolutions

I once asked someone that I was re-interviewing here in East-Central Europe how he would compare his life back in 1988 with his life today. He looked at me as if I were crazy. “Of course it was better then!” he exclaimed. “It was better under Communism?” He laughed. “No, it was better when I was 25 years younger!” The desire to be young again is powerful. But more powerful still is to...
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