Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Devil in History: Communism, Fascism, and Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century

West Study Group

The Devil in History: Communism, Fascism, and Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century

December 10, 2012 | 4:30 pm | Study Group on America and the WestEurasia Program

About the Event

America and the West Study Group featuring Vladimir Tismaneanu speaking on his new book, co-sponsored by FPRI’s Project on Democratic Transitions:

The Devil in History is a provocative analysis of the relationship between communism and fascism. Reflecting the author’s personal experiences of communist totalitarianism, the book lays out the political passions, radicalism, utopian ideals and catastrophic consequences of the twentieth century’s experiments in social engineering. 

The subjects discussed in The Devil in History are highly relevant to understanding the challenges facing post-authoritarian transitions in Europe and Eurasia – the main focus of FPRI’s Project on Democratic Transitions. A thorough understanding of the legacy of communism is crucial to understanding these nations’ successes and failures in their attempted transitions to democracy. 

Tismaneanu compares communism and fascism as competing, sometimes overlapping, and occasionally strikingly similar systems of political totalitarianism. He examines the inherent ideological appeal of these radical, revolutionary political movements, the visions of salvation and revolution they pursued, the value and types of charisma of leaders within these political movements, the place of violence within these systems, and their legacies in contemporary politics. The author discusses thinkers who have shaped contemporary understanding of totalitarian movements—people such as Hannah Arendt, Raymond Aron, Isaiah Berlin, Albert Camus, François Furet, Tony Judt, Ian Kershaw, Leszek Kolakowski, Richard Pipes, and Robert C. Tucker. 

Vladimir Tismaneanu is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of several books, including Stalinism for All Seasons: A History of Romanian Communism (UC Press), Fantasies of Salvation: Democracy, Nationalism and Myth in Post-Communist Europe, and Reinventing Politics: Eastern Europe from Stalin to Havel.


Venue

FPRI

1528 Walnut Street, Suite 610
Philadelphia. PA. US. 19102


Registration

Reservations are required. RSVP: events@fpri.org

Open to university faculty and to FPRI Members at the Fellows Level ($1000).

For more information contact 215 732 3774, ext 303 or events@fpri.org.


Speakers

Vladimir Tismaneanu

Vladimir Tismaneanu - Vladimir Tismaneanu, a member of FPRI's Board of Advisors, is professor of politics at the University of Maryland (College Park).

Adrian A. Basora

Adrian A. Basora - Ambassador Adrian A. Basora is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and director of its Eurasia Program. Previously Amb. Basora was the Director of FPRI’s Project on Democratic Transitions. ; Discussant