Twenty years ago, John Lukacs paused to set down the history of his own thoughts and beliefs in "Confessions of an Original Sinner", an adroit blend of autobiography and personal philosophy. Now, in "Last Rites", he continues and expands his reflections, this time integrating his conception of history and human knowledge with private memories of his wives and loves, and enhancing the book with footnotes from his idiosyncratic diaries. The resulting volume is fascinating and delightful, a book of history by a passionate, authentic, brilliant, and witty man. Lukacs begins with a concise rendering of a historical understanding of our world (essential reading for any historian), then follows with trenchant observations on his life in the United States, commentary on his native Hungary and the new meanings it took for him after 1989, and deeply personal portraits of his three wives, about whom he has not written before.He includes also a chapter on his formative memories of May and June 1940 and of Winston Churchill, a subject in some of Lukacs' later studies.
"Last Rites" is a richly layered summation combined with a set of extraordinary observations - an original book only John Lukacs could have written.
John Lukacs is an internationally read and praised historian, the author of some thirty books, a winner of numerous academic honours and awards, past president of the American Catholic Historical Association, and a member of the Royal Historical Society of the United Kingdom.
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