Coming on March 1st: Ellen Hinsey’s Mastering the Past: Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe and the Rise of Illiberalism. Pre-order your copy in our online store, and we will ship it once it is available. Save 20% on the list price by using the coupon code BOOKS20 during the checkout process.
Mastering the Past
Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe and the Rise of Illiberalism
by Ellen Hinsey
Over the last decade Ellen Hinsey has traveled across Central and Eastern Europe researching a critical shift in the European political landscape: the rise of illiberalism. A quarter of a century after the changes of 1989—and as former Soviet sphere societies come to terms with their histories—the specters of populism, nationalism, extreme-right parties, and authoritarian rule have returned in force. Through a series of eyewitness reports, Mastering the Past offers an insider’s view of key political events, including the 2012 Russian elections, the Polish presidential plane crash in Smolensk, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s vision for a new Hungary. Hinsey explores the darkening hour of European politics with an incisive mind and an eye for detail, recording the urgent danger that illiberalism represents for the new century.
Praise for Ellen Hinsey’s Mastering the Past
“Ellen Hinsey writes with power and passion: this is a formidable feast of research and interpretation. Her book is necessary and timely reading for anyone who wants to understand events in Central and Eastern Europe.”
—John S. Friedman, author and contributor to The Nation
“Ellen Hinsey’s book is a profound study that deals with a recent menacing—but not-yet-fully described or understood—phenomenon: the rebirth of backward nationalist attitudes in Eastern Europe. Based on first-hand experience, and making exemplary use of the author’s contacts with dissident intellectuals in many countries, it is an indispensable work for specialists and simply fascinating for the general reader.”
—Tomas Venclova, Lithuanian dissident and author
“Anyone interested in understanding current events in Europe needs to read this book. Hinsey writes with clarity, compassion, and insight about the people who are shaping and reshaping Europe and the world. Her voice is resolute, factual, and, believe me, to be trusted. Not to be missed.”
—Peter Fray, former editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald
“Since 1989 Ellen Hinsey has traveled through Germany, Russia, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic, translating her experiences of the tumult of post–Cold War politics into these intellectually rigorous and morally urgent essays. Hinsey encourages us to the tentative hope, articulated by Hannah Arendt, that ‘perhaps thought itself can help us survive the dangers.'”
—Susan McKay, author and journalist for The Guardian
About the Author
Ellen Hinsey is an award-winning writer, essayist, poet, and translator who works at the crossroads of literature, history, philosophy, and politics. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Irish Times, and Der Tagesspiegel. Her other books include Update on the Descent and The White Fire of Time.
ISBN 978-0-914386-65-0 (paperback)
Pub. Date: March 1, 2017