Democracy First: Shadi Hamid on Why and How to Support Democratic Change
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Shadi Hamid – author of the new book “The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea” – addresses democratic dilemmas that cannot be wished away; explains how he distinguishes between liberalism and democracy and why he proposes a democracy-first strategy; assesses the democratic record of Islamist political movements and parties; and discusses how the US could use its leverage in the Middle East to support or even foster democratic change.
Fantasy and Trauma: Dan Stone on Writing the History of the Holocaust
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Dan Stone – author of the new book The Holocaust: An Unfinished History – discusses various ways the history of the Holocaust has been misunderstood; addresses the challenges of narrating the Holocaust and clarifies his own interpretative framework; sketches the European dimension of the genocide and how German and non-German perpetrators interacted to execute it; and reflects on how perspectives on the Holocaust have changed over time and what studying it meant in the current moment.
Taming the Anthropocene: Zoltán Boldizsár Simon and Lars Deile on a New Era of Historical Understanding
In this conversation, our guest contributor Alexandra Medzibrodszky talks with Zoltán Boldizsár Simon and Lars Deile, the co-editors of the recently published volume “Historical Understanding: Past, Present, and Future” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022). The conversation focuses on the theory of history, reflecting on our changing perceptions of historical time; the relationship between the past, present, and future; the concept of the Anthropocene and its importance for historians; as well as on the legacy of Reinhart Koselleck and the extent to which he remains significant to contemporary debates on the theory of history.
Dictionary of Received Ideas (About Fascism)
Engaging with the difficult task of deconstructing firmly rooted myths, Corner’s main goal is to answer two questions: (1) How far does the affirmation of “many good things” done by Fascism corresponds to the historical reality?; and (2) Why do so many people today share a “permissive memory” of Fascism?
Beverly Gage on J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Beverly Gage – author of the new biography “G-Man. J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century” – discusses how Hoover built and shaped the FBI and what made him enjoy such an exceptional and long-lasting career; dissects his contradictions, reflecting on the sources of his popularity and why his reputation got so badly damaged; and explains what original sources and innovative scholarship a new biography of him can utilize and what placing him at the center of the American Century can teach us.
5 Key 2022 Books: Ideas
Ferenc Laczó, editor of the History of Ideas section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key Ideas books in 2022.
Westernization by Preemptive Rejection: How Viktor Orbán Sells to U.S. Conservatives Their Own Obsessions
In this op-ed, Ferenc Laczó explores how Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s regime “has been succeeding to a remarkable degree at translating key aspects of Hungarian ethnic nationalism into a wider panic about the future of Western civilization.”
How the Necessary Cold War Ended – and Why an Unnecessary One Followed It: Archie Brown on the Political and the Personal in the Relationship Between the West and the Soviet Union/Russia
In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz, Archie Brown – author of the recently released book “The Human Factor. Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War” – explains why he approaches the end of the Cold War through the study of political leaders; explores the different personal formations and the varying relationships between his three main protagonists before and after 1985; elaborates on his views on when and how the Cold War ended; and elucidates why the relationship between Russia and the West has deteriorated in the post-Cold War decades.
Emancipating Jews from Narratives of Victimhood and Redemption: Susan Neiman Discusses Germany’s Current Memory Culture
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Susan Neiman dissects what has made the articulation of universalistic Jewish commitments increasingly difficult in the German public sphere; explores why debates concerning global colonialism and the Nazi-colonial connection tend to be so fraught in the country; explains what post-colonial criticisms misunderstand about the intellectual heritage of the Enlightenment; and shows how both ignorance regarding Eastern Europe and social solidarity with the victims have shaped German responses to the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
How 2000 people made an impact at a time when society was silent: András Bozóki on the rolling transition of Hungary
In this discussion, RevDem Managing Editor Michał Matlak discusses with András Bozóki about his last book, “Rolling Transition and the Role of Intellectuals: Case of Hungary”, published this year by Central European University Press, which tells a compelling story of the role of intellectuals in political and social change that took place in Hungary between 1977-1994.