Destinations Past: Traveling Through History with John Lukacs

John Lukacs, Author University of Missouri Press $44.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-8262-0956-6
There are some strong moments in this uneven miscellany of historian Lukacs's ( The End of the Twentieth Century and the Passing of the Modern Age ) travel-history essays. Published over a 40-year period in such diverse periodicals as the National Review and Harper's Bazaar , the pieces include a particularly interesting account of his visit to Hitler's birthplace on what would have been his 100th birthday. Here, Lukacs pays homage to a Catholic peasant from the neighboring village who cast the only vote against Hitler. Another piece describes London at the time of Churchill's funeral. Lukacs, a native of Budapest who fled to the U.S. at the age of 23 when the Communists came to power in Hungary, draws an affectionate picture of Philadelphia, where he settled and taught history. Much traveled, Lukacs combines a scholar's background with charming but often sketchy impressions from his visits to Venice, Dresden, Warsaw, Transylvania, the Austrian Alps and Scandinavia. His reports of his 1989 and 1990 visits to Budapest and his comments on the Hungarian national character have the warmth and intimacy of a native's knowledge of the culture and excitement over its current revival. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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