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Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge After Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust, by Ira Katznelson [Excerpt]

December 15, 2004

Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge After Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust

Ana Wertz (reviewer)

Civilization is threatened by a radical evil. Traditional diplomatic methods no longer apply on the international scene, and the duties and rights of the citizen have altered drastically as well. Politics has taken on a messianic strain: leaders talk of a perpetual battle against hidden enemies who threaten the annihilation of our way of life. How is it possible to champion liberalism and democracy in such a poisonous atmosphere? This was the challenge that faced a select group of intellectuals in the aftermath of World War II.

 

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