Beyond My Dreams:
From Communist Romania to the Oval Office- How Tennis Changed My Life
His true life story filled with intrigue, courage, and defiance, revealing how he escaped one of the most repressive regimes on earth—the incredible but true adventure of one man’s flight to freedom.
by: Peter Marmureanu
Blue Ink Review - "This enlightening autobiography will be a delightful and riveting
read for tennis aficionados and those interested in an insider's
view of of then-Communist Romania."
"...story well told - deeply interesting and informative, and blended
with crisply drawn images of people and settings. Intertwined are
the author's palpable fears and haunting nightmares."
"... engaging, well-written autobiography."
Kirkus Review - "Marmureanu's journey contains enough excitement and tension to fill a spy novel..."
"His sense of storytelling and eye for detail easily draw an emotional response from the reader."
"...the stories he shares are thrilling. Marmureanu writes in a crisp prose that is doubly remarkable
when you consider that his first language is Romanian and his first love in not writing but tennis."
" A fascinating, affecting memoir of life under and escape from a totalitarian regime."
Clarion Review - "Four Stars (out of Five)"
"Marmureanu skillfully captures the tension of serving as a public figure under surveillance."
"...the strongest tone of the book is one of gratitude for those who steered Marmureanu toward
his path. Privilege and loss meld in a story composed of unexpected turns."
"...Beyond My Dreams is a solid account of an unusual individual."
About the Author
Born in Communist-held Romania, Peter Marmureanu suffered under the repression of a police state that seemed bent on destroying its own citizens. As Marmureanu soon realized, his extraordinary talent as a championship-level tennis player would be his sole passport out of a political system that threatened many of its young men with imprisonment or death. Alongside such Romanian tennis stars as Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac, Marmureanu waged a battle on the courts that was fought for his own independence, winning acclaim from tennis enthusiasts in all the major capitals where he met world-champion players on the courts. He also coached up-and-coming young American stars including John McEnroe, Peter Fleming, and Vitas Gerulaitis. But back in his home country of Romania, his meteoric rise threatened the welfare of his family, put his own life at risk, and ultimately led to the most important and irreversible decision of his life—to forfeit, forever, his Romanian citizenship and defect to the United States of America.
When Peter Marmureanu started learning tennis in communist-held Romania, he was a ten year old playing barefoot on clay courts, swinging a wooden paddle that served as a racket. Eight years later, as a member of Romania's Davis Cup team, Marmureanu was traveling side by side with Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac to the world's capitals playing tournaments in Cairo, Monte Carlo, Paris, London, Moscow, and scores of other cities. He hunted big game with a maharajah, met government leaders like Indira Gandhi, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran), President Sukarno, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Dayan, and Richard Nixon.
But his own country, Romania, was run like a prison camp where every citizen was subjected to constant surveillance from the state-controlled security forces. Finally, Marmureanu himself was forced to become a designated courier for the military. He traveled with packets of top-secret documents concealed in his racket cover for delivery to Romanian embassies, and returned carrying suitcases loaded with contraband goods desperately needed in his native country.
Eventually, Marmureanu realized that if he did not defect from Romania, he would forever be a prisoner in his own country. In a last-minute flight to freedom that reads like an espionage thriller, Marmureanu made his escape. But even in America, where Donald Rumsfeld and President Gerald Ford helped secure his citizenship, he lived for many years under FBI protection, carrying a handgun for his own safety. He knew the danger that loomed over Romania's defectors and the prison sentence he would face if he ever went back. And yet, for the sake of his family, Marmureanu risked a return—witnessing, first-hand, the initial moments of insurrection preceding the fall of an evil regime.