Mihai Ralea, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Mihai Ralea

Romanian social scientist

Date of Birth: 01-May-1896

Place of Birth: Huși, Vaslui County, Romania

Date of Death: 17-Aug-1964

Profession: politician, diplomat, psychologist, sociologist, literary critic, anthropologist, philosopher, literary historian

Nationality: Romania

Zodiac Sign: Taurus

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About Mihai Ralea

  • Mihai Dumitru Ralea (also known as Mihail Ralea, Michel Raléa, or Mihai Rale; May 1, 1896 – August 17, 1964) was a Romanian social scientist, cultural journalist, and political figure.
  • He debuted as an affiliate of Poporanism, the left-wing agrarian movement, which he infused with influences from corporatism and Marxism.
  • A distinguished product of French academia, Ralea rejected traditionalism and welcomed cultural modernization, outlining the program for a secular and democratic "peasant state".
  • His ideology blended into his scholarly work, with noted contributions to political sociology, the sociology of culture, and social and national psychology.
  • He was a professor at the University of Ia?i and, from 1938, the University of Bucharest. By 1935, Ralea had become a doctrinaire of the National Peasants' Party, managing Via?a Româneasca review and Dreptatea daily.
  • He had publicized polemics with the far-right circles and fascist Iron Guard, which he denounced as alien to the Romanian ethos.
  • He later drifted apart from the party's centrist leadership and his own democratic ideology, setting up a Socialist Peasants' Party, then embracing authoritarian politics.
  • He was a founding member and Labor Minister of the dictatorial National Renaissance Front, representing its corporatist left-wing.
  • Ralea founded the leisure service Munca ?i Voe Buna, and later served as the Front's regional leader in ?inutul Marii.
  • He fell from power in 1940, finding himself harassed by successive fascist regimes, and became a "fellow traveler" of the underground Communist Party. Ralea willingly cooperated with the communists and the Ploughmen's Front before and after their arrival to power, serving as Minister of Arts, Ambassador to the United States, and vice president of the Great National Assembly.
  • He was sidelined, then recovered, by the communist regime, and, as a Marxist humanist, was one of its leading cultural ambassadors by 1960.
  • Heavily controlled by communist censorship, his work gave scientific credentials to the regime's anti-American propaganda, though Ralea also used his position to protect some of those persecuted by the authorities. Ralea's final contributions assisted in the re-professionalization of Romanian psychology and education, with the retention of a more liberal communist doctrine.
  • Always an avid traveler and raconteur, he died abroad, while on mission to the UNESCO.
  • He endures in cultural memory as a controversial figure.
  • He is celebrated for his sociological and critical insights, but reprehended for his nepotism, his political choices, and his literary compromises.
  • His only, and last, direct descendant was a daughter, Catinca Ralea, who achieved literary fame as a translator of Western literature.

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