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The Art of Peacemaking

The Art of Peacemaking: Political Essays by István Bibó

István Bibó
Translated by Péter Pásztor
Edited and with an Introduction by Iván Zoltán Dénes
With a Foreword by Adam Michnik
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 488
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  • Book Info
    The Art of Peacemaking
    Book Description:

    István Bibó (1911-1979) was a Hungarian lawyer, political thinker, prolific essayist, and minister of state for the Hungarian national government during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This magisterial compendium of Bibó's essays introduces English-speaking audiences to the writings of one of the foremost theorists and psychologists of twentieth-century European politics and culture. Elegantly translated by Péter Pásztor and with a scholarly introduction by Iván Zoltán Dénes, the essays in this volume address the causes and fallout of European political crises, postwar changes in the balance of power among countries, and nation-building processes.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-21026-2
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword: István Bibó: A Sage in the World of History
    (pp. vii-x)
    Adam Michnik

    István Bibó (1911–1979) was a great sage of a small nation living in an epoch of hysteria. He therefore had a remarkable biography: in an era of totalitarian regimes and ideologies, he was a persistent advocate of democratic values. Before the war he was affiliated with the non-communist anti-fascist movement. After the Nazi invasion of Hungary in 1944 he protected Jews against deportation. That same year he was arrested by agents of the Hungarian Nazi regime (the Arrow-cross Party), and once he was freed, he went into hiding until the arrival of the Soviet Army. After the war, he...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction: Attempts to Resolve Political Hysteria
    (pp. 1-24)
    Iván Zoltán Dénes

    Those who experienced the government paranoia and the closing down of public discourse in the wake of the destruction of the Twin Towers will find familiar the analyses of political hysteria in Central Europe included in this volume of writings by István Bibó. Those who experienced the consequences of African American segregation will find Bibó’s discussion of anti-Semitism similarly familiar. All those who have been through serious conflicts or crises will know what it means to assume a mediator’s role. This was the role the political thinker István Bibó (1911–1979) assumed.

    Hysteria, Bibó maintained, is based on fear. As...

  6. On the Balance of Power and Peace in Europe
    (pp. 25-129)

    All writings have an obligation to render a more or less detailed account of the influences that have enriched it. This work has relatively few such references; if it were to acknowledge all its debts, it would have to list, beyond books, not all of them scholarly, all the inspiration it gained through lectures and friendly conversations. At this time, it would not be appropriate to list them.

    The author must not forget his indebtedness to one person; it is this obligation he fulfills by dedicating this book to the memory of Guglielmo Ferrero.

    Written as part of a “Handbook...

  7. The Miseries of East European Small States
    (pp. 130-180)

    Nation-building was one of the most important processes Europe as a political community went through. Within this process, the birth ofmodern nationshas had a momentous significance. Essentially, this meant that new, very powerful mass movements took possession of the frameworks of existing or newly established nations, and the emotions nations had always engendered now turned into highly charged mass feelings. It is not true that the nation and nationalism as such were born along with the French Revolution or, generally, the bourgeois revolution. The only novelty in this was that the political processes of nations took the form...

  8. The Peace and Hungarian Democracy
    (pp. 181-198)

    The peace with Hungary is going to be concluded in a matter of days or weeks. It will elicit from Hungarians, we now all know, neither outbursts of joy nor the silent sigh of relief that follows the end of uncertainty and temporariness even when a none-too-beneficial agreement is signed. The only question that remains open now is how powerful the strike-down is going to be. In the worst case, if two hundred thousand Hungarians are to be deported, we will have to reckon with the fateful psychological and economic effects the en-masse influx of refugees will have on a...

  9. The Warped Hungarian Self: A History of Impasse
    (pp. 199-232)

    Since thefin de sièclebut for the last two decades in particular, a central concern of Hungarian community life has been what the Hungarian character is like, what makes the Hungarian self. There would be nothing surprising in this if it were merely an attempt to find the characteristic features of our people in a broad spectrum of credibility extending from momentary fancy to profound artistic insight, mindfully seeking to research, tend, and guard our people’s characteristic manifestations or even attempting to buttress our difference and claim to independence by exploring our ethnic character. Yet justified as we might...

  10. The Jewish Predicament in Post-1944 Hungary
    (pp. 233-354)

    Between 1941 and 1945, over half a million Hungarian Jews perished in labor service, police atrocities, deportations, extermination camps, and during the Arrow-cross reign of terror. No sooner had the first shock passed than anti-Semitism, as witnessed by many a sign, had again cropped up against the survivors and home-comers. Official, semi-official, social, and moral bodies have made various declarations—each essentially putting forward the same two simple theses. The first one holds that the majority of the Hungarian people had not been involved with the crimes committed by the Germans and their hirelings and that the best Hungarians had...

  11. Declaration (1956)
    (pp. 355-356)

    Prime Minister Imre Nagy went to the Soviet Embassy for talks early this morning and has not been able to return. Apart from Zoltán Tildy in the Parliament Building, only Ministers of State István B. Szabó and István Bibó were able to attend the meeting of the Council of Ministers convened this morning. When Soviet troops surrounded the Parliament Building, Minister of State Zoltán Tildy reached an agreement with them to avoid bloodshed, whereby they would occupy the building while civilians could leave unharmed. In keeping with the agreement, he left. Representing the sole legitimate Hungarian Government, I, the undersigned,...

  12. Memorandum: Hungary, a Scandal and a Hope of the World
    (pp. 357-371)

    The scandal, first, of the Western world, which has been beating the drum for over a decade to say that the East European countries did not choose the one-party government system to which they were introduced with the assistance of the Soviet Union, and, for more than a decade, the West has been arousing hopes in the peoples of the region that they can in some way or another have the form of government they choose. It has not promised to start a nuclear war for their sake, and it has not called on them to senselessly take up arms....

  13. The Meaning of European Social Development
    (pp. 372-442)

    Politics is the one area of human life that has resisted scientific inquiry. To be more precise, it has been the subject of earlier, primitive forms of science, even providing opportunities for science to take its first steps—to record and sort experiences and thereby arrive at intuitive notions of order or principle in it. It has nevertheless lacked the certitude that makes a body of knowledge become science: assurance gained through experimentation. Clearly formulating a question, an experiment that can be repeated under the same conditions, is what proves or disproves an intuition. In politics, however, experiments take the...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 443-450)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 451-458)
  16. Index
    (pp. 459-473)