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Confessions of an Original Sinner [Hardcover]

By John Lukacs, Michael Kantor, Gernot Gruber (Editor), Alfred Orel (Editor), Andrew Porter (Translator), Gregory Volk, Open University (Corporate Author) & B. Teissier (Editor)
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Item Number 287289  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   328
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.21"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 2000
Publisher   St. Augustine's Press
ISBN  1890318124  
EAN  9781890318123  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this eloquent and thought-provoking "autohistory", John Lukacs, distinguished historian and writer, describes the history of his own convictions and beliefs. The journey takes us from the Hungary of the 1930s and the ravaged Budapest of World War II to Lukacs's discovery of the New World, his forays into the intellectual life of New York City, and finally his settling in Philadelphia.

Along the way, Lukacs examines many of the major currents of our period, including fascism, communism, democracy, anti-Semitism, and the Christian realism from which springs the book's title. What emerges is a mind that brings to bear on the conflicts of the twentieth century the erudition of the European heritage and the independence of the American.

In prose as elegant as it is supple, Confessions of an Original Sinner is at once the vivid account of one man's voyage and an important contribution to that small library that brings into sharp focus the major intellectual developments of our time.

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More About John Lukacs, Michael Kantor, Gernot Gruber, Alfred Orel, Andrew Porter, Gregory Volk, Open University & B. Teissier

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Lukacs was professor of history at Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, until his recent retirement and has been visiting professor at many universities. He is the author of twenty-one books, among them The Hitler of History, The Duel, The End of the Twentieth Century and The End of the Modern Age (which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and the most recent, A Thread of Years, also published by Yale University Press. He is the recipient of numerous academic honors and awards.

John Lukacs currently resides in Chester County, in the state of Pennsylvania. John Lukacs was born in 1924.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Mr Lukacs wears his humanity on his sleeve  Oct 27, 2002
I agree with the two reviewers who give the book five stars. I would give it six stars if I could! In almost every sentence one can feel Mr Lukacs' humanity. Strangely, in my youth, I spent a summer in Norristown, a northwest suburb of Philadelphia, close to where Mr Lukacs lives. I too was struck by the verdant beauty of the countryside of southeast Pennsylvania. It is a mystery that its beauty is not more widely known.
An Original Life  Feb 16, 2001
Lukacs gets to you slowly in this marvelous autobiography. It's partly the way he structures his life, and partly his remarkable prose. Structurally, he moves chronologically through his life, but also moves thematically at the same time, coming back around to the same preoccupations again and again but from different angles, foreshadowing what's to come, commenting on his earlier follies and triumphs. And so, slowly, he gnaws away at your preconceptions about history, especially U.S. history. Particularly entertaining are his witty criticisms of U.S. academia, his stinging assessments of Kissinger and Reagan from his perspective as a "reactionary" historian. Direct and simple, never-simplistic, he paints his experience as an exile coming to the U.S. after WWII truthfully, with wit, self-deprecation, and remarkable self-knowledge. There are passages in this book which are remarkably moving. His description of his first wife's illness and death, the slow dissolution of his connections to Hungary, the mother and family he left behind, are restrained, but all the more emotionally compelling because of that restraint. An original thinker, Lukacs never accepts anything at face value. After reading him, your view of 20th Century U.S. and world history will be changed. You may even be tempted to adopt his "reactionary" values.
Thoughtful and Inisghtful View of Life  Jan 20, 2001
This is no doubt one the most heartfelt and honest memoirs I have ever read. John Lucaks, teacher and historian, tells us early on of how he escaped from Hungary shortly after World War II. He lived under the Nazi's and then the Communists, despised both, and then made a life for himself in America.

Good writing is about good writing. Any subject is interesting when presented the right way and Lucaks goes a long way in presenting his story in a way that is fresh and full of life. He reveals many personal observations and details that leave him bare. He laments the loss of his first mistress (a married Hungarian lady with two children) and keeps her picture still. He describes, in detail, the harrowing illness and death of his first wife and the sadly sweet feelings that her memory still conjure up. He goes a long way in describing why Philadelphia is superior to New York City and why the Pennsylvania countryside is superior to both.

But mostly, Lucaks explains why he is a political reactionary, why that distinction is a noble one, and why it suits him so well. Don't construe this to mean that he is a member of the John Birch society or something, his political opinions are really hard to pigeonhole. He is a man of unique perspective, who had a front row seat to the happenings in the Second World War. He saw his people at their best and at their worst. He witnessed people who blew with the wind, and others that stood on conviction. He got a glimpse of what Eastern Europe could have been like if the Americans hadn't left it in the hands of the Russians.

The one caveat I have to offer is that this book is not breeze to read. The language is easy enough, but Lucaks insists that you think about his writing, and that takes a little more time than reading the latest popular novel.


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