Please join the East Central European Center and the Harriman Institute for a talk with journalist Paul Lendvai about his new book Orbán: Hungary's Strongman (Oxford University Press, March 2018).
A no-holds-barred biography of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has become a pivotal figure in European politics since 2010, this is the first English-language study of the erstwhile anti-communist rebel turned populist autocrat. Through a masterly and cynical manipulation of ethnic nationalism, generating fear of migrants and deep-rooted corruption, Orbán has exploited successive electoral victories to build a closely knit and super-rich oligarchy. He holds unfettered power in Hungary and is regarded as the single most powerful leader within the European Union. Orbán's ambitions are far-reaching. Hailed by governments and far-right politicians as a symbol of a new anti-Brussels nationalism, his ruthless crackdown on refugees, his open break with normative values and his undisguised admiration for Presidents Putin and Trump mean he poses a formidable challenge to Angela Merkel and the survival of liberal democracy in a divided Europe. Drawing on access to exclusive documents and numerous interviews, celebrated veteran journalist Paul Lendvai paints a compelling portrait of the most successful and, arguably, most dangerous politician in Hungarian history.
Orbán has been favorably reviewed by Jan-Werner Müller in the April 5, 2018 issue of The New York Review of Books.
Paul Lendvai is a Hungarian-born Austrian journalist who worked as a correspondent for the Financial Times for more than two decades. He is the author of Hungary: Between Democracy and Authoritarianism; Inside Austria: New Challenges, Old Demons; and Blacklisted: A Journalist's Life in Central Europe.