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John O’Sullivan

JOHN O’SULLIVAN (Liverpool, 1942) is editor-at-large of National Review in New York where he served as Editor-in-Chief for ten years. He was a Special Advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street and later assisted her in the writing of her two volumes of memoirs. He has held a wide variety of senior editorial positions in the media on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the founder and cochairman of the Atlantic Initiative, an international bipartisan organisation dedicated to reinvigorating and expanding the Atlantic community of democracies, launched at the Congress of Prague in May 1996 by President Václav Havel and Lady Thatcher. His book, The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister (on Pope John Paul II, President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher), was published in Hungarian, too, in 2010. Until 2011, he was the Executive Editor of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Prague. Currently he is the President of the Danube Institute, Budapest.

19 July 2018
"In his essay on nationalism, Orwell saw this vanguard cosmopolitanism (though he does not use the phrase) as 'the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil, and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests'."

25 May 2018
"Whatever the merits of the OSCE’s arguments, however, they too were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Fidesz victory which entrenched the post- 2010 political culture in Hungarian society for the (politically foreseeable) future."

19 January 2018
"When liberation came, however, in 1989 and later, the West was a great disappointment to its admirers in Central and Eastern Europe. It could not be otherwise. Hopes had been invested in a Western way of life that from afar seemed almost magically satisfying. When outsiders went there, they discovered alongside the prosperity a cultural life that was spiritually barren, anomic, and lacking in any sort of élan. It was almost as if whole nations, certainly whole governments and whole political parties, had ceased to believe in themselves."

17 November 2017

19 September 2017

19 July 2017
"One senior apparatchik told János Kádár, hesitating on the brink of betrayal, that the Communists might win five per cent in a free election. At that time it was probably an over-estimate. It meant that even if Hungary was crushed, it would have to be governed by a blend of sedation and seduction rather than simple repression after 'normalcy' had been restored."

17 May 2017
"What we see in France and Britain are two responses to this situation. In France Macron represents the decision of the political establishment to reject any compromise with populism, to keep it from power, even to demonise it. In Britain Theresa May represents a decision to draw populism into the main democratic debate, to subject it to the conventions of democratic government, and to draw it into respectability."

20 November 2016
"The memory of a nation encompasses many millions of individual memories. And when the memory is of 1956, dateline Budapest, that means many millions of individual fates, including loves lost or left behind, as well as the collective fate of the Hungarian people."

19 September 2016
"October/November 1956 occurred at the exact moment that I was entering both actual and political adolescence. Boys of my age — I became fourteen in April of that year — were fighting and ferrying the wounded in Budapest that Fall. It was a crash course in political maturity. I was studying for my English GCEs which included Latin, Greek and Ancient History but not more “relevant” subjects. In retrospect that did not matter. Watching and hearing the news bulletins that Season was a crash course in modern European history."

11 July 2016
"The more she encountered the European Union, the more suspicious of it she became. It seemed to her to concentrate the centralising and levelling passions in one vast bureaucratic machine insensitive to the sovereignty of nations and the aspirations of citizens. Above all, she believed it simply did not suit the British who had grown up under different institutions and with a different social outlook."

12 May 2016
"Marshal Foch once remarked of the graduates of France’s Saint-Cyr military academy: “They know everything. Unfortunately they don’t know anything else.” We can be fairly certain this was not meant as praise."

total: 45 volumes | 18/page

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