John Lukacs

John Lukacs

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John Adalbert Lukacs is a Hungarian-born American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who has written more than thirty books, including Five Days in London, May 1940 and A New Republic. He was a professor of history at Chestnut Hill College
Chestnut Hill College
Chestnut Hill College is a coeducational Roman Catholic college in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It was founded in 1924 as a women's college by the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was originally called Mount Saint Joseph College and assumed its current name in 1938. In...

 (where he succeeded Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn was an Austrian Catholic nobleman and socio-political theorist...

) from 1947 to 1994, and the chair of that history department from 1947 to 1974. He has served as a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

, Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, La Salle University
La Salle University
La Salle University is a private, co-educational, Roman Catholic university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Named for St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, the school was founded in 1863 by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. As of 2008 the school has approximately 7,554...

,Regional College in British Columbia and the University of Budapest
University of Budapest
The Eötvös Loránd University or ELTE, founded in 1635, is the largest university in Hungary, located in Budapest.-History:The university was founded in 1635 in Nagyszombat by the archbishop and theologian Péter Pázmány. Leadership was given over to the Jesuits...

, and Hanover College
Hanover College
Hanover College is a private liberal arts college, located in Hanover, Indiana, near the banks of the Ohio River. The college is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church . The college was founded in 1827 by the Rev. John Finley Crowe, making it the oldest private college in Indiana. The Hanover...

. A self-proclaimed reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

, Lukacs often holds views that many consider odd.

Views


Lukacs was born to a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 father and Jewish
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 mother. His parents divorced before the Second World War. Although Lukacs was raised as a Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, under the anti-Semitic laws prevailing in Hungary at the time which defined Jews as a "race" rather than followers of a religion, he was classified as Jewish. As such, Lukacs was forced to serve in a Hungarian labour battalion
Labour service (Hungary)
Labour service arose in Hungary during World War II as the required military substitution for Jewish men, who were no longer permitted to serve in the regular armed forces since the passing of the Hungarian anti-Jewish laws...

 for converted Jews during the war. He deserted from the Hungarian Army after the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, evaded deportation to the death camps in 1944-45, and survived the siege of Budapest. In 1946, he fled Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 for the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to escape increasing Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 influence in the Hungarian government. In the early 1950s, Lukacs wrote several articles in Commonweal
Commonweal
Commonweal is a American journal of opinion edited and managed by lay Catholics. It is headquartered in The Interchurch Center in New York City.-History:...

criticizing Senator Joseph McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

, whom he described as a vulgar demagogue.

Lukacs sees populism
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 as the greatest threat to civilization. By his own description, Lukacs considers himself to be a reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

. In Lukacs's view, the essence of both National Socialism and Socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 was populism. Lukacs does not believe in generic fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

. In his opinion the differences between Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Fascist Italy
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 were far greater than the similarities.

A major theme of Lukacs's writing has concerned an assertion by the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America and The Old Regime and the Revolution . In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in...

 in the 19th century that all states, whether monarchies or republics, had been dominated by aristocratic elite
Elite
Elite refers to an exceptional or privileged group that wields considerable power within its sphere of influence...

s, and that the age of aristocratic elites was drawing to a close and the age of democratic elites reflecting the interests and concerns of the masses was dawning. Much of Lukacs's writings are concerned with what he regards as this transition from aristocratic to democratic elites and its consequences, especially towards historiography. In his 2002 book, At the End of an Age, Lukacs argued that the modern age of history in the West that started with the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 was coming to an end. The subject of the rise of populism and the decline of elitism is also the theme of Lukacs's experimental work, A Thread of Years (1998), which contains a series of vignettes set in each year of the 20th century from 1900 to 1998, tracing what Lukacs regards as the collapse of the traditional American values of gentlemanly conduct and politeness and the rise of vulgarity and profanity of modern American culture. Lukacs sees himself as the defender of the traditional values of Western civilization against what he regards as the debasing leveling effects of modern mass civilization.

By his own admission an intense Anglophile, Lukacs’s favorite historical figure is Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, whom Lukacs considers the greatest statesman of the 20th century and the savior of not only Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, but also of Western civilization
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

. A recurring theme in Lukacs’s writing is the great duel between Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 and Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 for mastery of the world. The great struggle between the contrasting personalities of Churchill and Hitler, whom Lukacs sees as the archetypical reactionary and the archetypical revolutionary, is the major theme of The Last European War (1976), The Duel (1991), Five Days in London (1999) and 2008's Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat, a book about Churchill’s first major speech as Prime Minister. Lukacs argues that Great Britain (and by extension the British Empire) by itself could not defeat Germany and the primary responsibility for winning rested with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, though contending that in the decisive year of 1940 Churchill ensured that Germany could not win the war immediately (i.e., before it really got started), laying the groundwork for an Allied victory.

Lukacs holds strong neo-isolationist
Isolationism
Isolationism is the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by...

 beliefs, and, perhaps unusually for an anti-Communist
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

 Hungarian émigré, "airs surprisingly critical views of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 from a unique conservative perspective." Lukacs often argued his belief that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 was a feeble power on the verge of collapse, and contended that the Cold War was an unnecessary waste of American treasure and life. Likewise, Lukacs is strongly critical of the administration of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and has condemned the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

.

In his 1997 book, George F. Kennan and the Origins of Containment, 1944-1946, a collection of letters between Lukacs and his close friend George F. Kennan
George F. Kennan
George Frost Kennan was an American adviser, diplomat, political scientist and historian, best known as "the father of containment" and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War...

 exchanged in 1994-1995, both Lukacs and Kennan criticized the New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 interpretation of the Cold War being caused by the United States. Lukacs argued that though Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 was largely responsible for the beginning of the Cold War, it was the administration of Dwight Eisenhower which missed the chance for ending the Cold War in 1953 after Stalin's death, and thus unnecessarily allowed the Cold War to go on for decades more.

The Hitler of History


From around 1977 onwards, Lukacs has been one of the leading critics of the British author David Irving
David Irving
David John Cawdell Irving is an English writer,best known for his denial of the Holocaust, who specialises in the military and political history of World War II, with a focus on Nazi Germany...

, whom Lukacs has often accused of engaging in unscholarly practices and of having neo-Nazi sympathies. In a review of Irving's Hitler's War
Hitler's War
Hitler's War is a history book by David Irving. It describes the Second World War from the point of view of Adolf Hitler.It was first published in April 1977 by Hodder & Stoughton and Viking Press . Avon Books reissued it in 1990...

in 1977, Lukacs commented that as a "right-wing revisionist" who had admired some of Irving's early works, he had initially had high hopes for Hitler's War, but found the book to be "appalling". Lukacs commented that Irving had uncritically used personal remembrances by those who knew Hitler to present him in the most favorable light possible. During his review, Lukacs argued that though World War II had a disgraceful end with all of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 being left under Soviet domination, nonetheless a victory that left only half of Europe to Stalin was much better than a defeat that left all of Europe to Hitler.

In part, Lukacs’s 1997 book, The Hitler of History, a prosopography
Prosopography
In historical studies, prosopography is an investigation of the common characteristics of a historical group, whose individual biographies may be largely untraceable, by means of a collective study of their lives, in multiple career-line analysis...

 of the historians who have written biographies
Biography
A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts , biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events...

 of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, contains a substantial critique of Irving’s work. Irving in his turn has engaged in what many consider to be anti-Semitic and racist attacks against Lukacs. Lukacs is quite proud of his Catholic faith, but because of his Jewish mother, Irving has disparagingly referred to Lukacs as "a Jewish historian." Irving has often threatened Lukacs with a libel lawsuit, which has yet to materialise. In letters of 25 October and 28 October 1997 Irving threatened to sue Lukacs for libel if he published his book, The Hitler of History without removing certain passages highly critical of Irving's work. The American edition of The Hitler of History was published in 1997 with the alleged libelous passages included, but because of Irving's legal threats, no British edition of The Hitler of History was published until 2001. As a result of the threat of legal action by Irving, when the British edition of The Hitler of History was finally published in 2001 the passages containing the criticism of Irving's historical methods were expunged by the publisher.

In The Hitler of History, Lukacs examines the state of Hitler scholarship inspired by the example of Pieter Geyl
Pieter Geyl
Pieter Catharinus Arie Geyl was a Dutch historian, well-known for his studies in early modern Dutch history and in historiography.-Background:...

's book, Napoleon For and Against, while at the same time offering his own observations about Hitler. In addition, The Hitler of History was intended to serve as the beginning of the "historicization" of Hitler as called for by Martin Broszat
Martin Broszat
Martin Broszat was a German historian specializing in modern German social history whose work has been described by The Encyclopedia of Historians as indispensable for any serious study of the Third Reich. Broszat was born in Leipzig, Germany and studied history at the University of Leipzig and...

 in an 1986 essay.

In Lukacs’s view, Hitler was a racist, nationalist, revolutionary, and populist who drew his strongest support from the middle classes and above all the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

. Lukacs has often criticized Marxist and Liberal historians who have claimed that the majority of the German working class were strongly anti-Nazi. According to Lukacs, the exact opposite was true. Each chapter of The Hitler of History is devoted to a particular topic such as whether Hitler was a reactionary or revolutionary, and a nationalist or a racist, and examining what he considers the real roots of Hitler’s ideology. Lukacs has concluded that Hitler’s claim in Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf is a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926...

that he developed his belief in racial purity ideology while living in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 under the Habsburg monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 is false. Instead, Lukacs has dated Hitler’s turn to anti-Semitism to 1919 Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, in particular to the events surrounding the Bavarian Soviet Republic
Bavarian Soviet Republic
The Bavarian Soviet Republic, also known as the Munich Soviet Republic was, as part of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the short-lived attempt to establish a socialist state in form of a council republic in the Free State of Bavaria. It sought independence from the also recently proclaimed...

 and its defeat by the right-wing Freikorps
Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

. Much influenced by Rainer Zitelmann
Rainer Zitelmann
Rainer Zitelmann is a German historian, journalist and management consultant.- Life :Zitelmann studied history and political sciences at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences and completed his doctorate in 1986 under Prof. Dr...

's work, Lukacs has described Hitler as a self-conscious, modernizing revolutionary. Citing the critique of National Socialism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 developed by such German conservative historians such as Hans Rothfels
Hans Rothfels
Hans Rothfels was a nationalist conservative German historian. He supported an idea of authoritarian German state, dominance of Germany over Europe and was hostile to Germany's eastern neighbours...

 and Gerhard Ritter
Gerhard Ritter
Gerhard Georg Bernhard Ritter was a conservative German historian.-Before the Third Reich:...

 after 1945, Lukacs has described the Nazi movement as the culmination of all the dark forces lurking within modern civilization.

In Lukacs’s view, Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 was not inspired by anti-Communism
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

 or any long-term plans on the part of Hitler for the conquest of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 as suggested by such historians as Andreas Hillgruber
Andreas Hillgruber
Andreas Fritz Hillgruber was a conservative German historian. Hillgruber was influential as a military and diplomatic historian.At his death in 1989, the American historian Francis L...

, who claimed Hitler had a stufenplan (stage-by-stage plan), but was rather an ad hoc reaction forced on Hitler in 1940-41 by Britain’s refusal to surrender. Lukacs has argued that the reason that Hitler offered for the invasion of Russia was indeed the real one. Hitler claimed that Britain would not surrender because Churchill held out the hope that the Soviet Union might enter the war on the Allied side, which left Germany with no other choice than to eliminate that hope; many historians have argued that this reason was just a pretext. Thus for Lukacs, Operation Barbarossa was primarily an anti-British move as opposed to an anti-Soviet move. Likewise, Lukacs argued that Hitler's statement to the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 High Commissioner for Danzig, the Swiss diplomat Carl Jacob Burckhardt
Carl Jacob Burckhardt
Carl Jacob Burckhardt was a Swiss diplomat and historian. His career alternated between periods of academic historical research and diplomatic postings; the most prominent of the latter were League of Nations High Commissioner for the Free City of Danzig and President of the International...

, in August 1939 stating that "Everything I undertake is directed against Russia…", which Hillgruber cited as evidence of Hitler's ultimate anti-Soviet intentions, was merely an effort to intimidate Britain and France into abandoning Poland. In the same way, Lukacs took issue with Hillgruber's claim that the war against Britain was of only "secondary" importance to Hitler compared to the war against the Soviet Union. At the same time, Lukacs has been one of the leading critics of Viktor Suvorov
Viktor Suvorov
Viktor Suvorov is the pen name for Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun , a former Soviet and now British writer of Russian and Ukrainian descent who writes primarily in Russian, as well as a former Soviet military intelligence spy who defected to the UK...

, and has often attacked the latter's view that Barbarossa was a "preventative war" forced on Germany by an aggressive Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 who, Suvorov claims, was planning to attack Germany later in the summer of 1941.

Later work


In his 2005 book, Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred, Lukacs writes about the current state of American democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. He warns that the populism
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 he perceives as ascendant in the U.S. renders it vulnerable to demagoguery. He considers that this devolution from liberal democracy
Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

 to populism is evident in such things as popular sentiment being the new substitute for what was once public opinion
Public opinion
Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Public opinion can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views....

 - and propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 and infotainment
Infotainment
Infotainment is "information-based media content or programming that also includes entertainment content in an effort to enhance popularity with audiences and consumers." It is a neologistic portmanteau of information and entertainment, referring to a type of media which provides a combination of...

 over knowledge and history. In the same book, Lukacs criticized legalized abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

, pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

, cloning
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

, and sexual permissiveness as marking one he sees as the basic decadence, depravity, corruption and amorality of modern American society.

More recently, Lukacs has written June 1941: Hitler and Stalin (2006), a study of the two leaders with a focus on the events leading up to Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

. In 2007, Lukacs published George Kennan: A Study of Character a biography of his good friend George F. Kennan
George F. Kennan
George Frost Kennan was an American adviser, diplomat, political scientist and historian, best known as "the father of containment" and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War...

 based on privileged access to Kennan's private papers. His book Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat (2008) is a continuation of a series of books Lukacs has written on what he regards as the greatness of Winston Churchill. Last Rites (2009) continues the "auto-history" he published in Confessions of an Original Sinner (1990). His latest work, The Future of History, was released on April 26, 2011.

Works

  • The Great Powers and Eastern Europe (New York: American Book Co., 1953).
  • A History of the Cold War (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961).
  • Decline and Rise of Europe: A Study in Recent History, With Particular Emphasis on the Development of a European Consciousness (Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1965).
  • A New history of the Cold War (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966).
  • Historical Consciousness; or, The Remembered Past (New York: Harper & Row, 1968).
  • The Passing of the Modern Age (New York: Harper & Row, 1970).
  • A Sketch of the History of Chestnut Hill College, 1924–1974 (Chestnut Hill, PA: Chestnut Hill College, 1975).
  • The Last European War: September 1939–December 1941 (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1976).
  • 1945: Year Zero (New York: Doubleday, 1978).
  • Philadelphia: Patricians and Philistines, 1900–1950 (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1981).
  • Outgrowing Democracy: A History of the United States in the Twentieth century (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1984).
  • Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture (New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988).
  • Confessions of an Original Sinner (New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1990).
  • The Duel: 10 May–31 July 1940: the Eighty-Day Struggle between Churchill and Hitler (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1991).
  • The End of the Twentieth Century and the End of the Modern Age (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1993).
  • Destinations Past: Traveling through History with John Lukacs (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1994).
  • The Hitler of History (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1997).
  • George F. Kennan and the Origins of Containment, 1944–1946: the Kennan-Lukacs Correspondence, Introduction by John Lukacs. (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1997).
  • A Thread of Years (New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 1998).
  • Five Days in London, May 1940 (New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 1999).
  • A Student's Guide to the Study of History (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000).
  • Churchill: Visionary, Statesman, Historian (New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2002).
  • At the End of an Age (New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2002).
  • A New Republic: A History Of The United States In The Twentieth Century(New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2004).
  • Democracy and Populism: Fear & Hatred (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
  • Remembered Past: John Lukacs On History, Historians & Historical Knowledge: A Reader (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2005).
  • June 1941: Hitler and Stalin. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2006 (ISBN 0-300-11437-0).
  • George Kennan: A Study of Character. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2007 (ISBN 0-300-12221-7).
  • Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Dire Warning. New York: Basic Books, 2008 (ISBN 0-465-00287-0).
  • Last Rites. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2009 (ISBN 978-0-300-11438-6).
  • The Legacy of the Second World War. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2010 (ISBN 0-300-11439-7).
  • The Future of History. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2011 (ISBN 0-300-16956-6).

Lectures


Essays


Lukacs Reviewed


Lukacs Interviewed