New Book: Ideological Storms. Intellectuals, Dictators, and the Totalitarian Temptation

Ideological Storms. Intellectuals, Dictators, and the Totalitarian Temptation, edited by Vladimir Tismăneanu and Bogdan C. Iacob, Budapest: CEU Press, 2018.

This volume gathers authors who wrote important works in the fields of the history of ideology, the comparative study of dictatorship, and intellectual history. The book is a state of the art reassessment and analysis of the ideological commitments of intellectuals and their relationships with dictatorships during the twentieth century. The contributions focus on turning points or moments of rupture as well as on the continuities. Though its focus is on an East–West comparison in Europe, there are texts also dealing with Latin America, China, and the Middle East, giving the book a global outlook.

The first part of the book deals with intellectuals’ involvement with communist regimes or parties; the second looks at the persistence of utopianism in the trajectory of intellectuals who had been associated earlier in their lives with either communism or fascism; the third considers the role of intellectuals in national imaginations from the left or the right; and the fourth links late twentieth century phenomena to current phenomena, such as the persistence of anti-Semitism in the West, the slow erosion of the values upon which the EU is built, the quagmire in Iraq, and China’s rise in the post-Cold War era. The collection provides a comprehensive overview of intellectual genealogies and dictatorial developments.