Ana Pauker: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Communist

Format Post in Social BY Robert Levy

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Ana Pauker: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Communist
Robert Levy
Type: eBook
Released: 2001
Publisher: University of California Press
Page Count: 419
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0520223950
ISBN-13: 9780520223950
From Publishers Weekly Virtually unknown internationally today, Pauker appeared on a 1948 Time cover, described inside as "the most powerful woman alive.Ana Pauker: The Rise ... Textbook " In Romania, she's remembered as a dogmatic, fanatically subservient Stalinist, emblematic of the terror and repression of the 1947-1952 period in which she served as foreign minister and more briefly as de facto behind-the-scenes leader. Levy easily refutes this image, since Pauker was purged on Stalin's urging precisely for being too soft. What's more difficult is to discover who she really was. Levy concisely describes the recurrent, historically precarious position of European Jews as social pioneers eventually viciously displaced as "parasites" a pattern repeated with revolutionaries like Pauker. Though ultimately unsuccessful in avoiding this fate, she displayed high levels of historical self-awareness, acting in often surprising ways. The central chapters explore her roles in agriculture, party purges and Jewish emigration, which provoked the major accusations against her. As agriculture secretary she opposed forced collectivization and supported higher prices for agricultural products; as a party leader, she opposed the purge of popular leader Lucretiu Patrascanu and the foreign, disproportionately Jewish veterans of the Spanish Civil War and the French Resistance, while her complex relations to her Jewish heritage, identity and compatriots were typically demonized by the anti-Semitism that doomed her. Though Pauker the person remains enigmatic, the political figure's complexities and contradictions, as portrayed by Levy, belie the caricature her homeland clings to, and challenge simplistic notions of the Cold War's darkest hours. 20 b&w photos, 1 map. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. From In his introduction, Levy describes Ana Pauker as "the daughter of poor religious Jews rising to the pinnacle of power in a country traditionally disdainful of both Jews and women." Officially Romania's foreign minister from 1947 to 1952--the first woman to hold such a post--Pauker was actually the unofficial head of Romania's Communist Party after World War II, and for a number of years she was the country's true behind-the-scenes leader. Levy examines Pauker's life and career; the evidence reveals a person characterized more by contradictions than by dogmatism, a Communist leader fanatically loyal to Stalin and the Soviet Union but actively opposing the Stalinist line and deliberately defying Soviet directives on a number of important issues. The remainder of the study covers her years in power and subsequent purge. The book will be of interest to students of the history of communism in Eastern Europe and of one of its most important figures. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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