About/Bio/Contact for Richard Andrew Hall
The views on this site are mine alone. They do not represent my current or former employers or, in the case of grants and fellowships, financial supporters.
Welcome/Bine ati venit! to my website: The Archive of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989
Thank you for your time and interest. Please feel free to comment (over time, I have had to screen comments in advance, owing to the usual flood of spam with no relation to the subject at hand).
The choice of name (which has changed over time) is an effort to distinguish this site from the excellent volume by Peter Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (Cornell University Press, 2005), and to reflect my desire to make available to the general public newspaper articles from my own personal archive, as well as pertinent documents, articles, videos, and images to be found elsewhere on the Internet. This site is the single source for hundreds of articles from the Romanian press of the early 1990s that do not appear anywhere else on the Internet (in fact they are routinely purloined and presented as the finds of others, particularly in Romania). The site includes my scholarship and publications, beginning with my dissertation in 1996, and writings which followed in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009.
The genesis of this site lay in my observation that much of what was being written in the 2000s by Romanian journalists and researchers ignored, was not aware of, or filtered out a huge amount of previous investigations and research…from the Romanian press itself of the early 1990s. It was also the realization that even though I am somewhat of a technological dinosaur, the Internet offered opportunities to not just refer to sources, but to post those sources so that readers could themselves judge the information upon which I was building my understanding and arguments. It was also driven my profound disappointment in the so-called Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania (PCACDR) ‘s chapter on December 1989, which appeared in December 2006; Professor Charles King’s remarkably uncritical and surprisingly superficial analysis of that chapter in his review of the Final Report in the Winter 2007 issue of Slavic Review reinforced my belief that the presentation of research on December 1989, needed to be far more empirical, far more transparent about the sources upon which conclusions were being based.
Ironically, or not, in the years of the mid-2000s I had been attempting to research and write on other subjects (for example, Images of Hungarians and Romanians in Modern American Media and Popular Culture) and move away as best I could from researching December 1989. That was before the unexpectedly vindictive act of Professor Vladimir Tismaneanu, Chair of the PCACDR. I had written critically of the Final Report’s chapter on December 1989, and on Tismaneanu’s general refusal to engage scholarly criticism (for example, Michael Shafir) of the Report as a whole. Rather than ignore my comments or seek to rebut them–what one expects of a scholar, no?–Tismaneanu called my employer (details below) with the clear intent of damaging me professionally and personally. This is only part of the story: his clients on the Commission (Sorin Iliesiu) and in the Romanian media (Andrei Badin) sought to land the knock-out punch in the days which followed. The legacy of these events is paradoxical: far from being unable to further publish on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, publications (found on these pages) were approved in their totality by my employer in 2008 and 2009, in part, it would seem, because I had a long history both before I was hired and after, of publishing on the topic. By contrast, my efforts to open up new research horizons on other countries and other topics were stymied: in 2008 and 2010 I had two 50 page single-space articles denied (including even the titles) in their entirety. So, I am in fact left with little more than the empirical goals I set out with when I started this site: scanning or linking to articles, documents, videos, and images on December 1989. Readers have frequently commented that this is frustrating. I understand, but “it is what it is.” As a lover of irony, I cannot help but note that the vengeance of Vladimir Tismaneanu has had a strange outcome: he tried to prevent me from presenting my views on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 and on the research of others on the subject, but succeeded in preventing me from publishing on other countries and subjects, leaving the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 as the only thing I can post about!
The evidence, re/sources, and views presented on this site are very clearly my own. They in no way represent or should be construed as representing the views of the Central Intelligence Agency. Except for the application process, prior to entering employment in September 2000, I had no interaction with CIA. The case made on this site is thus designed to stand on its own and presents only publicly-available information (for example, when FBIS xeroxes appear, they were either made as a graduate student or as a private citizen on my own time at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC). I ask for readers understanding with the quality of scans of articles from the Romanian press of the early 1990s. Most of these were made during my Ph.D. dissertation research year in Bucharest on an IIE-Fulbright grant (October 1993-July 1994) or in my free time as an IREX-funded teacher in Cluj (February-July 1997), when the availability and quality of xerox machines in Romania was a real challenge. Neither the Institute for International Education nor IREX, nor the Woodrow Wilson Center (who provided me with a short-term grant in East European Studies for July 1995 at the Library of Congress), is responsible for any of my findings or views to be found on this site.
In the event of inactive or dead links, please contact me, and I will attempt to rectify the situation if possible. Thank you and pleasant perusing of my site!
Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D. (Political Science, Indiana University, 1997) and CIA analyst (2000-)
Contact e-mail: email@example.com
[Below Excerpted from a curriculum vitae, submitted 18 August 2010; approved by CIA’s PRB with redactions 27 August 2010.]
Overview of Scholarly Research and Writings
Much of my scholarly research has focused on the events, historiography, and legacy of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989. In December 2009, the Romania Libera daily published a three-part series (22, 22, and 23 December 2009) reprising several chapters from my 1996 dissertation. Other sources have used my 1999 East European Politics and Societies article, my 2000 Europe-Asia Studies article, or my more recent work on the Internet since joining CIA in September 2000 (see below).
Examples of Use of My Research and Writings
Richard Andrew Hall, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” East European Politics and Societies vol. 13, no. 3 (1999): 510-542.
Hall is a CIA analyst. The article tackles issues of interpretation of the 1989 revolution by political scientists, historians and journalists. Hall argues against the “staged war” conspiracy theory. He claims that the “terrorists” responsible for fighting on in late December were members of the Securitate, and he shows that Securitate accounts are responsible for spreading rumors that the violence in December was staged in order to create the myth of a heroic revolutionary origin for the National Salvation Front that had merely staged a palace coup in deposing Ceauşescu.
[Making the History of 1989 is an online database for teachers and students. The educational site provides teaching materials including scholar interviews, teaching modules, case studies and primary sources related to the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. The digital history project was created by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. The project received funding and other assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the German Historical Institute located in Washington, D.C. Description from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Making_the_History_of_1989 ]
Colin Woodard, “Probing Romania’s cryptic revolution,” Global Post, December 18, 2009, at http://www.globalpost.com/passport/foreign-desk/091218/probing-romanias-cryptic-revolution
Independent researcher Richard Andrew Hall points to substantial evidence that shadowy anti-revolutionary forces were involved in the intense fighting in the days after Ceausescu’s flight. Hall has posted research papers pointing out widespread accounts of people being injured or killed by dum-dum bullets, which are designed to shatter inside the body to maximize organ damage and are outlawed under the Geneva Conventions. Ordinary army and police units did not stock such ammo.
“Let us hope that on the twentieth anniversary of the Revolution we may be able to read serious investigations of the ballistics evidence, rather than be subjected to the false and jaded refrain [that] such things did not exist,” Mr. Hall concluded.
(Hall’s current employer — the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency — has allowed him to publish his personal research, but does not permit him to give interviews.)
Michael Meyer – 2009 – History – 255 pages
I am indebted to Richard Andrew Hall for his exceptionally researched reconstruction of the revolution-turned-coup in his Ph.D. thesis for the University of …
Stephen Kotkin, Jan Tomasz Gross – 2009 – History – 197 pages
Richard Andrew Hall, “Theories of Collective Action and Revolution: Evidence from the 1989 Romanian Transition,” Europe-Asia Studies. 52/6 (2000): 1069-03. …
Rogers Brubaker – 2006 – Social Science – 439 pages
“The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.” East European Politics and Societies 13(3):501-42. . 2000. …
Rogers Brubaker – 2006 – Social Science – 439 pages
… and Romania’s Future”; Tismaneanu, Reinventing Politics; R. Hall, “Theories of Collective Action and Revolution“; and Rady, Romania in Turmoil. …
Lenard J. Cohen, Jasna Dragović-Soso, Lenard J. Cohen – 2008 – History – 413 pages
Richard Andrew Hall, “Nationalism in Late Communist Eastern Europe: Comparing the Role of Diaspora Politics in Hungary and Serbia,” parts 1-5, …
by S Hanley – 2004 – Cited by 12 – Related articles
See R.A. Hall, ‘Nationalism in Late Communist Eastern Europe: Comparing the Role of. Diaspora Politics in Hungary and Serbia’, Parts 1–3, East European …
List of Research Papers and Writings of Richard Andrew Hall:
(2010) “PAPER #2: TITLE BANNED” (submitted 5/25/2010, denied by PRB in its entirety 7/12/2010)
(2009) “Bullets, Lies, and Videotape: The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989.” blv 111909tk6 (pdf file)
(2009) WHEN ETHNIC TENSIONS, FOOTBALL, AND YOUTUBE MIX: AN INTERNET AUTOPSY OF THE COUNTDOWN TO THE CLASH BETWEEN HUNGARIAN FANS AND SLOVAK POLICE AT THE 1 NOVEMBER 2008 DAC DUNASZERDAHELY – SLOVAN BRATISLAVA MATCH (pdf)
(2008) “PAPER #1: TITLE BANNED” (submitted 10/1/2008, denied by PRB in its entirety 11/10/2008).
(2004) Doublespeak: The All-too-Familiar Tales of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Double. In HABSBURG Occasional Papers, Number 3. March 2004. (pdf)
(2003) NATIONALISM IN LATE COMMUNIST EASTERN EUROPE: COMPARING THE ROLE OF DIASPORA POLITICS IN HUNGARY AND SERBIA.
In RFE/RL Reports, Volume 5, Number 5. March 2003. (pdf)
(2002) THE SECURITATE ROOTS OF A MODERN ROMANIAN FAIRY TALE: THE PRESS, THE FORMER SECURITATE, AND THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF DECEMBER 1989.
In RFE/RL Reports, Volume 4, Number 7. April 2002. (pdf)
List of Research Papers and Writings of Richard Andrew Hall (Continued):
“Theories of Collective Action and Revolution: Evidence from the 1989 Romanian Transition,” Europe-Asia Studies vol. 52, no. 6 (2000): 1069-1093.
“The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” East European Politics and Societies vol. 13, no. 3 (1999): 510-542.
“Political Culture in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” written 1999, in Henry F. Carey (ed.), Romania Since 1989, Lexington Books (2004): 215-228.
Hall, Richard and Patrick O’Neil, `Institutions, Transitions, and the Media: A Comparison of Hungary and Romania’, in P. O’Neil (ed.) Communicating Democracy: The Media and Political Transitions, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner (1998): 125-145.
“The Dynamics of Media Independence in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics vol. 12, no. 4 (December 1996): 102-123.
“Dupa 7 Ani (After Seven Years),” 22 and Sfera Politicii, December 1996.
“Romania: Manipulation of National Reconciliation in the Post-Ceausescu Era,” written 1996, in Henry F. Carey (ed.), National Reconciliation in Eastern Europe, Columbia University, East European Monographs (2003): 179-196.
“Blue Horizons: Intellectuals in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” Sfera Politicii, September 1994.
“The Role of the State in Post-Communist Eastern Europe,” Sfera Politicii, March 1994.