Sears and Cristea

Hartwick’s Sears Co-Authors Book on Romanian Communism

October 7, 2013

A series of chance happenings in 2005 led to the introduction of Hartwick College Professor of Accounting and Business Administration Thomas G. Sears, CPA, and Romanian co-author Radu Cristea. After several years, their shared interest in uncovering more about Romanian Communism led to much research, countless interviews, and the creation of their recently released book, titled Faces of Freedom, Lives of Courage. The work was published in June, 2013 by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC and was released nationally in an electronic version on September 24, 2013. The piece is scheduled to be available in bookstores within 4 - 6 months' time. 

Sears and Cristea will be available for a series of book signings during True Blue Weekend on October 12 from 10 a.m. to noon, and again from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Copies of the work are available for purchase in the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on campus and the signing events will take place outside of the Bookstore in Dewar Union.

"I must personally thank Hartwick College and the Board of Trustees for providing both the opportunity and the funds to research this book..." said Sears in his dedication. "I have been there for 35 years and couldn't imagine myself teaching anywhere else."

According to the publisher's website, "Faces of Freedom, Lives of Courage is a fragment of communist Romania's history as seen through the unique and shocking experiences of nine individuals."

This account of historical non-fiction consists of several interviews of those whose lives were altered by the communist leaders and regime of Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu of Romania. Six of the nine individuals detailed within book are ex-political prisoners who survived the extermination camps during these Communist times.

"We began traveling to talk to people that lived under the Communist regime and through those meetings, we were introduced to members of the Association of ex-Political Prisoners," said Cristea.

"The piece was four years in the making," shared Sears. "After our first meeting with one of the book's interviewees, we dropped everything ... our focus shifted toward these political prisoners; the re-telling of their account was that powerful. During the process we became very emotionally involved with the stories as well as the individuals. They have been through so much. It is so important that stories like these are recorded and told, since when the individual passes their story dies with them."

Sears describes his interviewees as "very moving ... and it is a wonder how they survived. There are not many people who could have - nor did - as hundreds of thousands died during this same time."

After the book was published, Cristea had the opportunity to personally present the final piece to those who were interviewed.

"All were very thankful," said Cristea. "Many shared that they could not wait to hold a copy of the Romanian version of the book. I could feel their emotions ... the final product is very powerful."

Faces of Freedom, Lives of Courage is currently available for purchase via the publisher's website as well as other sites including, Barnes and Noble online,, and more.

To watch video discussions between Cristea and select interviewees, visit YouTube. For further information, please visit the authors' Facebook page at or contact Sears at 607-431-4947 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031