May 27, 2010
The Wise Man
From The New Republic:
This wise and interesting book condenses a lifetime of political learning into a few hundred crisply written pages. Laqueur came of age as Europe entered the worst of times. He grew up in Weimar and then Nazi Germany, and then worked as a journalist in the Middle East from 1938 to 1953. In London, he helped to found and edit two important journals, Survey and the Journal of Contemporary History, before moving to Washington and working as a scholar of international affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the last decade of the Cold War. (He is certainly the least K Street-like man ever to work on K Street.) Laqueur has been a significant figure in historical scholarship regarding Nazism and the Holocaust, the Soviet Union and the Cold War, the history of Zionism, anti-Semitism and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Middle East, European history since 1945, and the academic study of terrorism—the latter was his theme long before September 11. He may be the only scholar of contemporary history who has made important contributions to all of these fields. Along with Aron, he is one of those few intellectuals who, for decades, was an important voice in both the academy and the policy world.
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