John Lukacs redux
Per what I wrote the other day, here are some very selective pointers to a few of the works of John Lukacs.
His great work, Historical Consciousness: The Remembered Past, was first published in 1968, re-issued with new material by Schocken Books in 1985. That is the edition to get if you can. (Transaction Books re-issued that one in, I believe, in 2002, with a characteristically useless introduction by Russell Kirk.) This book is seminal to understanding Lukacs' historical philosophy (precisely NOT a "philosophy of history") and toward developing one's own.
The Last European War: September 1939-December 1941 was published in 1976. This was, apart from Historical Consciousness, Lukacs' magnum opus, full of insights about this turning point in the history of the world. It should be read in conjunction with The Hitler of History (1997) - not a biography of Hitler, but a profound consideration of how Hitler has and is being dealt with by historians and the world generally - and also how (counter-intuitive as it seems) a full reckoning with Hitler's massive significance is still to come.
Three articles are especially important to read these days. "The Universality of National Socialism (The Mistaken Category of 'Fascism')" is full of insights about the endurance of ideological appeal across borders and through time, very much including our time. "Happy Birthday, Benito" (yes, dear reader, the title and article are chock full of ironies) is a great examination of the dictator Mussolini. Finally, "Our Enemy, the State?" is a clear-eyed essay about the proper view of government, the state, and civilization at this time.
The auto-historical John Lukacs can be discovered best in these volumes: Confessions of an Original Sinner (1990), A Thread of Years (1997), and Last Rites (2009). Finally (I write this as I think of so many writings I would like to recommend by name) Remembered Past: John Lukacs on History, Historians,and Historical Knowledge (2005) is an excellent anthology, with a bibliography of his work going up to about 2003.
Lux perpetua luceat eis.