Of all the revolutions that took place during the annus mirabilis 1989, only the Romanian one was violent. The paper explores the sources of the Romanian different path, the extraordinary vitality of the authoritarian mentalities and practices in that country, the commingling of Leninist and Byzantine traditions in a uniquely cynical and manipulative formation. This may explain why, despite the ostensible radicalism and strong-worded, overblown rhetoric of the revolutionary paragons, the Leninist heritage in Romania has turned out to be more persistent and resilient than in other countries.

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