John Lukacs

John Lukacs American historian who has written more than thirty books, including Five Days in London, May 1940 and A New Republic.

Latest by John Lukacs in Chronicles

Results: 41 Articles found.
  • The Reduction of Certainty
    October 18, 2019

    The Reduction of Certainty

    4 ½ min

    One should begin a review with a summation of a book and then of its author. The reverse is warranted in this case. James Grant is an extraordinary American, a financial expert whose mind is enriched by his knowledge of history. His previous book was an excellent biography of John Adams. It did not receive the recognition it deserves. (But then, in these times and in this world, can one expect recognition from people who have little or no cognition themselves?)

    Read More
  • July 10, 2019

    Grand Designs

    8 ¼ min

    There are many things wrong with this book, beginning with its title. The Liberal Mind is not what this book is about. (Nor were the 1940's and 1950's really a Conservative Age—but let this pass.) It is about the intellection of the New York left. Liberality of mind is a desirable condition—yes, also (and perhaps especially) for political conservatives. It is an overall desideratum and not a term properly applicable to the designation of specific conventicles of intellectuals.

    Read More
  • Letters From Tocqueville
    May 8, 2019

    Letters From Tocqueville

    5 ¾ min

    Alexis de Tocqueville was an immensely prolific writer. His friend Gustave de Beaumont wrote that "for one volume he published he wrote ten; and the notes he cast aside as intended only for himself would have served many writers as text for the printer."

    Read More
  • Clap & Trap
    September 12, 2018

    Clap & Trap

    7 min

    I had heard about, but not read, "The End of History?" Francis Fukuyama's star-burst essay published in 1989; but I felt a twinge of sympathy for him as his critics chortled and pointed at history rumbling anew: people dancing atop the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Union falling to pieces, an American Army flying into Arabia.

    Read More
  • February 26, 2018

    To Hell With Culture

    17 ¼ min

    "The corruption of man," Emerson wrote, "is followed by X the corruption of language." The reverse is true, and a century later Georges Bernanos had it right: "The worst, the most corrupting lies are problems wrongly stated."

    Read More
  • Surrounded by Books
    December 2017

    Surrounded by Books

    13 min

    Surrounded by books has been a main circumstance of my long life. So it is now, near the end of my 94th year, when I am in my large library of perhaps 18,000 books in the western wing of my house in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

    Read More
  • July 24, 2017

    The Condottiere

    3 ¼ min

    We live in an age when biography flourishes, contrary to earlier expectations. The reason for this is the decline of the novel and the rise of popular interest in all kinds of history, and biography belongs within history.

    Read More
  • April 17, 2017

    Dwight Macdonald

    13 ¾ min

    A Rebel in Defense of Tradition is the title of Michael Wreszin's 1994 biography of Dwight Macdonald (1906-1982). It is a very good title, by which I mean something more than a "handle"; it is a precise phrase, a summary properly affixed to the memory of an extraordinary man.

    Read More
  • Public Opinion at the End of an Age
    March 2017

    Public Opinion at the End of an Age

    9 ¾ min

    One symptom of decline and confusion at the end of an age is the prevalent misuse of terms, of designations that have been losing their meanings and are thus no longer real. One such term is public opinion.

    Read More
  • Dealing With Hitler
    July 2016

    Dealing With Hitler

    8 min

    "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning" has received exceptional attention and nearly universal praise. Prof. Timothy Snyder’s knowledge of the holocaust is almost encyclopedic.

    Read More
  • The Crucial Years
    May 2016

    The Crucial Years

    5 min

    The evidence of the end of the Cold War around 1990 was clearer than evidence of its beginning had been around, say, 1947. By “Cold War” we mean the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union—not that between the United States and China, which was the outcome of civil war in the latter country.

    Read More
  • May 2016

    Books in Brief

    4 min

    Alexis de Tocqueville’s wife was Mary Mottley, an Englishwoman. His biographers have never written more than a couple of sentences about her.

    Read More
  • Between Fear and Conceit
    April 2016

    Between Fear and Conceit

    4 ¼ min

    H.M. Maisky was the Soviet ambassador to Britain from 1932 to 1943. In June 1943 Stalin ordered him to quit London. After returning to Moscow, Maisky was posted henceforth to unimportant positions.

    Read More
  • End of the World of Books
    August 2013

    End of the World of Books

    11 min

    No matter. Next day, my relief was gone. I know that so much of my world has vanished. The world of books.

    Read More
  • Parallel Lives
    May 2010

    Parallel Lives

    2 ¾ min

    Nicholas Thompson, the grandson of Paul Nitze, chose to write a biography of his grandfather, but with a restriction. Thompson thought it best to describe and compare his grandfather’s public career together with that of another public personage, George Kennan.

    Read More
  • The Reduction of Certainty
    June 2009

    The Reduction of Certainty

    4 ½ min

    One should begin a review with a summation of a book and then of its author. The reverse is warranted in this case. James Grant is an extraordinary American, a financial expert whose mind is enriched by his knowledge of history.

    Read More
  • Diplomacy Before the Fall
    March 2009

    Diplomacy Before the Fall

    4 ½ min

    The first two sentences of this fine book tell it all. “This is a text for our times. It is a celebration of diplomacy and diplomats—of an essentially extinct profession.” I shall return to this summa summa rum; but first, here is my account of the contents of this book.

    Read More
  • October 2008

    Russian Patriot: Solzhenitsyn’s Preoccupation With History

    2 min

    Chronicles has asked me “to participate in a roundtable on the contributions and legacy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.” His contributions were of enormous importance. His legacy, perhaps less so.

    Read More
  • April 2008

    The End of the American Middle Class

    5 ¾ min

    We have now entered a new age which will not have a name or a designation until, I think, at least one or two centuries from now: But then, such is the evolution of historical terminology.

    Read More
  • Thoughts on Socialism
    August 2006

    Thoughts on Socialism

    4 ¾ min

    One day, perhaps, a great history of socialism will be written. A daunting task, but not impossible, since socialism, the “ism,” is not very old—a relatively new phenomenon, during the last 200 years or even less.

    Read More
Results: 41 Articles found.



X