|John Adalbert Lukacs: January 31, 1924 - May 6, 2019|
On March 7, 2006 John Lukacs gave the George Herbert Walker, Jr. Lecture at Yale University and thankfully his presentation is available online.
Below are a selection of some of his many quotes and ideas that had an impact on my thinking over the years. The first is taken from a series of quotations selected by the Acton Institute.
Patriotism and racism are incompatible:
"Populism is folkish, patriotism is not. One can be a patriot and a cosmopolitan. But a populist is inevitably a nationalist of sorts. Patriotism, too, is less racist than is populism. A patriot will not exclude a person of another nationality from the community where they have lived side by side and whom he has known for many years, but a populist will always remain suspicious of someone who does not seem to belong to his tribe." - Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred, 2005.
The second from an extensive essay in Chronicles Magazine on the end of the age of the book.
Blessings of Old Age:
The “Blessings of Old Age”? Oh, not at all. How very soon I shall be dead. In a year? In a few months? In a few weeks? I hope that I will not be constrained to move from here to a communal nursing home. I hope; but I cannot know. What I know is that, after my death, this library, this house, will instantly be changed. - Surrounded by Books, 2009
The third is taken from The New York Review of Books and is a review of The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939–1941 by Roger Moorhouse.
Hitler - Stalin Pact:
In the vast literature about Stalin and Hitler during World War II, little is said about their being allies for twenty-two months. That is more than an odd chapter in the history of that war, and its meaning deserves more attention than it has received. - Monsters Together, 2015
In 1982, in the midst of the Cold War, the challenge of Poland to the Soviet Empire was examined on Firing Line with William F. Buckely Jr. , Dr. Lukacs, and Thomas Molnar.