"Suddenly there, under the cold moon, there it was, the Romanian flag with the socialist emblem cut right out of the middle. It's through that hole that I am retuning to my birthplace." These were Andrei Codrescu's words as he began a journey of discovery. On the eve of the Christmas 1989 revolution, the exiled poet returned to his homeland to witness firsthand the changes occurring in Eastern Europe.
The impetus was an assignment from National Public Radio, which Codrescu snatched at immediately. It had been twenty-five years since he left Romania as a dissident poet.
The Hole in the Flag is Andrei Codrescu's personal account of the fall of a tyrannical regime, and the exhilaration of a country reborn. He shares the triumph of the workers and citizens on the festive New Year's streets, and reunites with old friends and colleagues that he left behind. With the keen eye of a reporter, Codrescu reveals the hideous secrets of the Ceauşescu nightmare that lasted forty-five years. Yet the reality of what Romania has in store once the parades have ended is described from the heart of a poet. The combination of sensibilities creates a startlingly truthful perspective—a personal portrayal of political history.
From the Orient Express to his childhood haunts in Bucharest and Sibiu, we follow Codrescu as he chronicles the insurrection—from the battlefield villages where the revolution was supposedly fought to the television studio where the revolution was won, and then stolen. Codrescu uncovers the chilling realities behind the "democratic" transformation of this history-haunted corner of Europe, a cynical deception that has largely misled hearts and minds around the world.