This book, written by a noted American specialist on Romanian history, studies the diplomacy of Ioan I.C. Bratianu during and at the conclusion of WWI. His diplomacy led to the formation of Greater Romania. Bratianu was a master of that subtle, farsighted, and somewhat disreputable diplomacy which in other times was called Byzantine. He was adept in the art of playing nations against each other for his own benefit. The uncertainty in which he left the Great Powers as to the side Romania would eventually join was a masterpiece of political strategy. Vacillation as a diplomatic art was perfected by Romanian rulers during the centuries of precarious existence wedged between the Turks, Magyars, and Slavs. Bratianu proved a worthy successor to his predecessors. From 1914 to 1916 he executed one of the most notable acts of political tightrope walking. The Germans assumed he would never fight against them, but feared he might not fight for them. The Allies doubted if he would ever fight for them, but hoped he would not fight against them. At the decisive moment, he threw in with the Allies and the results were catastrophic, but out of the catastrophe Romania emerged with her territory and population doubled, the sixth largest country in Europe, and the dominant state in Southeastern Europe.