25 January 2017
PÉTER ÁKOS BOD (Szigetvár, 1951). Economist, university professor. He worked in economic research at the Institute of Planning, Budapest, taught economics in Budapest and in the US before 1989. He was Minister of Industry and Trade between 1990 and 1991, and Governor of the Hungarian National Bank between 1991 and 1994. In 1995–1998, he was member of the Board at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London), representing East Central European countries. At present, he is director of the Institute of Economics at Budapest Corvinus University. He is vice chairman of the Hungarian Economic Society, sits on editorial boards of Hungarian journals (incl. this Review). His major publications include: A vállalkozó állam [The Entrepreneurial State], 1987; A pénz világa [The World of Money], 2001; Gazdaságpolitika [Economic Policy], 2002; Közgazdaságtan [Economics], 2006.
PÁL HEGYI (Sömmerda, 1970) teaches as Assistant Professor at the Department of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Both in his scholarly work and as a literary translator, his main interest lies in the intersection of Hungarian and American art and literature. His book delineating the uncanny nature of absence in Paul Auster’s early work was published in 2016 (AMERICANA eBooks).
GÉZA JESZENSZKY (Budapest, 1941), D. Phil., historian, graduated from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. From 1976 to 2011, he taught at what is today Corvinus University of Budapest. Was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at U.C., Santa Barbara in 1984-86. Taught the history of international relations and of Central Europe at numerous other universities in the U.S. and Europe. He was Foreign Minister of Hungary in the first non-Communist government (1990–94), Ambassador to the United States of America in 1998–2002, and to Norway and Iceland in 2011-2014. He is the author of numerous publications on history and foreign policy, his latest book in English is Post-Communist Europe and Its National/Ethnic Problems (2009). His account of Hungary’s relations to her neighbours (in Hungarian) came out this April 2016. He is an editorial adviser for Hungarian Review.
DAVID MARTIN JONES is a political scientist, writer and commentator. Mr Jones is an Honorary Reader in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, and Visiting Professor and Teaching Fellow in War Studies at King’s College, University of London. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics, and has taught at the Open University, National University of Singapore, and the University of Tasmania. His works include Political Development in Pacific Asia (1997), The Image of China in Western Social and Political Thought (2001), with N. Khoo and M.L.R. Smith The Rise of China and Asia Pacific Security (Edward Elgar 2013) and with M.L.R. Smith Sacred Violence Political Religion in a Secular Age (Macmillan 2014) and The Political Impossibility of Modern Counter-Insurgency (Columbia 2015).
GYULA KODOLÁNYI (Budapest, 1942), Editor-in-Chief of Hungarian Review and of Magyar Szemle, is the author of eleven collections of poetry, scholarly and literary essays and poetry translations. He taught English and American Literature at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest in 1970–1989. He received research and teaching fellowships from the British Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, CIES and The German Marshall Fund of the US. He taught at the University of California in Santa Barbara (1984–85) and at Emory University in Atlanta (2004–2009), and read his poetry in English widely in the US. In 1987 he was a founding member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF). In 1990–94, he served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. In 2000–2005 he was an Advisor to President Ferenc Mádl. In 2012, he received Hungary’s Middle Cross with the Star and in 2005 the President’s Medal of Honour for his public and literary achievements. With Magyar Szemle, he received a Prima Prize in 2003. In 2015, he was Prima Primissima Prize winner in literature. In 2016, he received the Hungarian PEN Club’s Janus Pannonius Prize for Poetry Translation.
DONALD E. MORSE, Professor of American, Irish, and English Literature, University of Debrecen and Emeritus Professor of English and Rhetoric, Oakland University, Michigan. He was Fulbright Professor (1987-1989, 1991-1993) and Soros Professor (1990, 1996-1997) at the University of Debrecen. The author or editor of 16 books including The Irish Theatre in Transition (Palgrave 2015), Anatomy of Science Fiction (2006), The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut (Praeger 2003) and with Csilla Bertha More Real than Reality: The Fantastic in Irish Literature and the Arts (Greenwood 1991). With Csilla Bertha he received Rockefeller Study and Durrell School Fellowships to translate contemporary Hungarian plays into English (Silenced Voices: Five Hungarian-Transylvanian Plays, 2008). For over 30 years he has chaired the annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts and for over 25 years has hosted “Bloom’s Day in Detroit.” In 1999 the University of Debrecen awarded him an Honorary Doctorate and in 2007 he received the László Országh Prize. He has also been the recipient of two festschrifts.
VIKTOR ORBÁN (Alcsútdoboz, 1963), Prime Minister of Hungary in 1998–2002 and since May 2010; graduated in Law at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, in 1987. In 1983, as a student he was a founding member of Bibó College, a circle for the study of democratic politics. A year later, with his fellow students, he created Századvég, a journal of social sciences, and became one of its editors. In 1989–1990, he studied the history of British liberal political philosophy in Pembroke College, Oxford. In 1988 he was one of the founders of the Fidesz (Alliance of Young Democrats), one of the decisive parties of the Democratic opposition to the Communist system and one of the engines of the peaceful revolution of 1988–90. In summer 1989 he had a major role at the national Round Table Talks on Hungary’s peaceful transition to democracy, and he gave a famous speech at the reburial of the martyrs of 1956 on Heroes Square in Budapest, on 16 June 1989. In the mid-nineties, several liberal figureheads left Fidesz as the party became a national centre right force with Orbán at the helm, and has remained so to this day. Orbán, a committed democrat, is a charismatic orator and a powerful political strategist.
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 Adviser 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.
NICHOLAS T. PARSONS is a freelance author, translator and editor based in Vienna. A graduate of New College, Oxford, he spent two years in Italy teaching at the British Institute of Florence and as Reader in English at the University of Pisa before returning to the UK to work in publishing for ten years in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1984 he settled in Central Europe with his Hungarian wife, art historian Ilona Sármány, and has since published some 17 books on cultural topics, writing also as Louis James. These include the Blue Guide Austria and the Blue Guide Vienna as well as the first English guide to Hungary to be published following the “system change” of 1989. His essay-length Xenophobe’s Guide to the Austrians (Louis James) has been in print for 20 years. His recent books are Worth the Detour: A Cultural History of the Guidebook from Pausanias to the Rough Guide, and Vienna: A Cultural History Signet (Oxford University Press; Italian edition: Vienna: Ritratto di unacitta, Odoya, Bologna).
MÁTYÁS SÁRKÖZI (Budapest, 1937), writer, journalist, settled in London towards the end of 1956 as a Hungarian refugee. Within a few weeks after his arrival he became a student of St Martin’s School of Art, studying book-illustration. Later he became employed by the BBC’s Hungarian Section. Since 1990, he has been spending part of his time in Budapest and writing for and appearing in the Hungarian media. His latest publications include Csé. Cs. Szabó László életműve [Csé. László Cs. Szabó’s Oeuvre] (Kortárs Kiadó 2014), Levelek Zugligetből – Tamperdü [Letters from Zugliget – Tamperdü] (E-book, Kortárs Kiadó 2016), and ’34,’44,’56 – PLUSZ. Elbeszélések és egy beszélgetés. [’34, ’44, ’56 – PLUS. Short stories and a conversation] (Kortárs Kiadó 2016)
PETER UNWIN (Middlesbrough, 1932) is a writer and retired diplomat. He was Ambassador to Hungary from 1983 to 1986 and Ambassador to Denmark from 1986 to 1988. He served as Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth from 1989 to 1993. Having retired from the Diplomatic Service, he has been writing books on history, and is an occasional contributor to The Times. Among his books are Voice In the Wilderness: Imre Nagy and the Hungarian Revolution (1991), Where East Met West: A Central European Journey (2000), 1956: Power Defied (2006), Newcomers’ Lives: the Story of Immigrants as Told in Obituaries from The Times (2013).
GYULA VÁRALLYAY (Nyíregyháza, 1937). Ha was a university student at the Technical University in Budapest when the Revolution of 1956 broke out. He fled the country with a group of students, arriving in Austria and carrying only a small attaché case with two books in it and his identity papers. He ended up in the United States and joined the 1956 Student Association led by Béla Lipták in Cambridge Massachusetts. They formed the National Student Association. He completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard and continued to M.I.T. for a master’s degree in soil mechanics and foundation engineering. He then embarked on a successful international career in his field while still keeping ties with his former colleagues in the ’56 Student Organization. He has published widely on the subject of the 1956 Revolution and the student movement that sparked it all. He is retired and currently lives in Washington, D.C. He has three children.