In 1948, Margineanu was arrested on a charge of "high treason," based on his alleged membership in a resistance movement against Communist rule. He was sentenced to twenty-five years' imprisonment, of which he served sixteen, passing through the jails at Malmaison, Jilava, Pitesti, Aiud, and Gherla. This book, his autobiography, is a shocking testimony to the fate of the intellectual elite of Romania during the Communist dictatorship. It is a unique and invaluable addition to the literature in English on the experience of political prisoners, not only in Communist Romania but in authoritarian states in general.
Nicolae Margineanu (1905-1980) was a Romanian psychologist and writer who was a political prisoner during the period of Communist rule. Dennis Deletant is the Visiting Ratiu Professor of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University. Calin Cotoiu is a translator based in Bucharest, Romania.