RUMANIA: Enfant Terrible

Each morning at 7:45, a black Mercedes limousine with a police escort arrives at the Bucharest mansion of Rumanian President Nicolae Ceauşescu and whisks him to his office in the columned Central Committee Building. "At 8:01 the President's advisers and ministers must be ready to receive a call from him," says an aide. The call could be about almost anything, since Ceauşescu (pronounced Chow-shess-cue) insists on passing judgment on all manner of problems, from the working conditions in a coal mine to the decor inside the capital's new National Theater.

In his very personal role as Rumania's top man, Ceauşescu...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!