The Society for Romanian Studies



The Fourth Biennial SRS Book Prize

The committee agreed unanimously to award the prize to Roland Clark, Holy Legionary Youth: Fascist Activism in Interwar Romania (Cornell UP, 2015). Clark’s book offers a comprehensive reinterpretation of the interwar Legionary movement from the perspective of the history of everyday social life. Moving away from abstract paradigms of ‘the nature of Romanian fascism’, Clark tells us more about what the Legionaries actually did (and did not) do, using a large number of new archival sources. His book covers the career of the movement from beginning to end and treats a remarkable range of topics, with a good structure, contextualization, regional coverage, and comparison with other fascist movements. Especially impressive is the way Clark situates interwar Romanian political phenomena in the context of broader paradigms of international social, cultural, political and religious history; and brings the topic up to date with a closing reflection on the memory of Legionary activity in post-war and present-day Romanian society. For the breadth and depth of its analysis, its rich documentation and clear writing style, Clark’s work stands out against a very strong field.

There were also three important Honorable Mentions:

Virginia Hill and Gabriela Alboiu, Verb Movement and Clause Structure in Old Romanian (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) show that although early Romanian texts display predominantly Latin and Romance morphology patterns, they also signal a strong manifestation of the Balkan Sprachbund where syntax is concerned. These findings help us to understand more clearly the linguistic processes that paved the way for the emergence of modern Romanian.

Dennis Deletant, British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) contains priceless and rare information concerning Britain’s wartime role in Romania, that by its nature is hard to access. Deletant not only clarifies the documentary record of a contested story but offers careful and calibrated assessments of the ultimate impact of British activities, as well as providing insights from Romanian archives that have not hitherto been available to British researchers.

Ştefan Ionescu, Jewish Resistance to Romanianization (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) greatly enriches our understanding of Jewish resistance to the Antonescu regime during the Second World War. Focusing on the Jewish community of Bucharest, Ionescu defines his topic as ‘an asynchronic duel fought with legal weapons in an asymmetric warfare’. His fine analysis, based on extensive archival research, adds to our knowledge both of the Jewish community’s plight and activities, and of their impact on the social and political history of wartime Romania as a whole.


SRS Book Prize Committee Members: 

Alex Drace-Francis

European Studies Department

University of Amsterdam

Kloveniersburgwal 48



Peter Gross

10025 Casa Real Cove

Knoxville, TN 37922


Inessa Medzhibovskaya Eugene Lang College

The New School 65 West 11th Street New York, NY 10011 USA

About the SRS Book Prize:

For details of the Prize and past winners please see: