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The Dragons of Expectation: Reality and Delusion in the Course of History (2005)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393059332, Hardcover)FROM THE AUTHOR OF "The Harvest of Sorrow and one of the world's most respected humanists comes this long-awaited work of history and philosophy. "The Dragons of Expectation--in the tradition of Isaiah Berlin's "The Crooked Timber of Humanity and George Orwell's "Essays--brilliantly traces how seductive ideas have come to corrupt modern minds, to often-disastrous effects. From the onset of the Enlightenment to the excesses of democracy, Stalinism, and liberalism. Robert Conquest masterfully examines how false nostrums have infected academia, politicians, and the public, showing how their reliance on "isms" and the destructive concepts of "People, Nation, and Masses" have resulted in a ruinous cycle of turbulence and war. Including analyses of Russia's October Revolution, World War II, and the Cold War that challenge common historical views. "The Dragons of Expectation is one of the most important contributions to modern thought in recent years.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:28 -0400)
"Aware of the "primitive delusions" that have attracted people to rogue ideologies over the past century, Robert Conquest has devoted a lifetime to exposing the political and mental distortions that have spawned or appeased implacable regimes and led, all too often, to death and destruction." "Here, in The Dragons of Expectation, whether discussing the political thinking of ancient Greece, the corrosive effect of ideological socialism, or the inanities of the European Union, Conquest assesses the ravages of our past, the absurdities of our present, and the pitfalls that lie in our future." "As Conquest observes, the early part of the sixteenth century "saw what appeared to be, or foreshadow, the rise of a tolerant order on the Continent." Yet it was not the heirs of Montaigne or Erasmus who prevailed, but the fanatics and dogmatists, whose ideas plunged Europe into a downward track with a series of internecine programs the likes of which had never been seen before."--BOOK JACKET.
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