Secrets and Truths: Ethnography in the Archive of Romania's Secret Police (Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lectures) (Paperback)
Nothing in Soviet-style communism was as shrouded in mystery as its secret police. Its paid employees were known to few and their actual numbers remain uncertain. Its informers and collaborators operated clandestinely under pseudonyms and met their officers in secret locations. Its files were inaccessible, even to most party members. The people the secret police recruited or interrogated were threatened so effectively that some never told even their spouses, and many have held their tongues to this day, long after the regimes fell.With the end of communism, many of the newly established governments--among them Romania's--opened their secret police archives. From those files, as well as her personal memories, the author has carried out historical ethnography of the Romanian Securitate. Secrets and Truths is not only of historical interest but has implications for understanding the rapidly developing security state of the neoliberal present.
About the Author
Katherine Verdery is Julien J. Studley Faculty Scholar and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology. Since 1973 she has conducted field research in Romania, initially emphasizing the political economy of social inequality, ethnic relations, and nationalism. With the changes of 1989, her work has shifted to problems of the transformation of socialist systems, specifically changing property relations in agriculture.