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Optimism in politics : reflections on contemporary history

Author: Walter Laqueur
Publisher: New Brunswick : Transaction Publishers, [2014]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This new collection by Walter Laqueur, one of the most distinguished historians and political commentators of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, vividly brings to life his perspective on fifty years of political life. The essays in this volume deal with events ranging from more than seventy years ago to some that have not yet happened, but may in years to come. Laqueur divides his writings into five main  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Laqueur, Walter, 1921-
Optimism in politics
(DLC) 2013021571
(OCoLC)855491697
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Walter Laqueur
ISBN: 9781412852210 1412852218
OCLC Number: 872115596
Notes: Includes index.
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: Optimism in politics --
The Marxism renaissance --
Reflections on the next revolution --
On youth movements (1970) --
European futures --
Night thoughts on Europe --
Europe united: an essay in counterfactual history (April 1, 2012) --
Middle East: the Arab Spring --
Arab Autumn --
Revolution in the Middle East? --
Cassandra in Cairo --
An interview --
Israel and Jewish affairs --
The new million --
The Kibbutz at 100 --
Recollections of Jerusalem --
Bloodlands: the Snyder version --
George Mosse: Berlin to Madison --
Guttentag: Breslau to Cochabamba --
The Kaiser's spy, Jihad, and the Jewish Nazis --
Departure and arrival --
1938 --
Homecoming (1963) --
Caucasian diary.
Responsibility: Walter Laqueur.

Abstract:

"This new collection by Walter Laqueur, one of the most distinguished historians and political commentators of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, vividly brings to life his perspective on fifty years of political life. The essays in this volume deal with events ranging from more than seventy years ago to some that have not yet happened, but may in years to come. Laqueur divides his writings into five main areas: optimism in politics, the topic that unites this volume; Europe; the Arab Spring; Israel and Jewish affairs; and recollections of the past. This volume addresses an increasingly important question: How much optimism do we need in politics? Some neuroscientists believe that many of our assessments rest on an excess of optimism amounting to a dangerous bias. Another school of cognitive scientists sees the main danger in being influenced too much by negative conclusions. Although these competing perspectives have been only rarely investigated, Laqueur argues that such psychological factors play a decisive role in the assessment of political trends, and they should. Laqueur also reminds readers that there is a connection between writing history and commenting on current affairs, but it is not remotely as close and simple as often thought. The idea that the historian is somehow better qualified than others to interpret the present, let alone predict the future, is certainly not borne out by the evidence. Some great historians have been good and reliable political commentators, others have been miserable failures. Laqueur definitely falls in the former camp, as these reflections attest"--Publisher's description.

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-These essays are touching, sensitive, intelligent, and thoroughly absorbing in a way that blends history, recollection, and analysis.- --The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs "These essays are Read more...

 
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