Congratulations to NER international correspondent Ellen Hinsey, whose collection of timely essays—some of which appeared first in our pages—has just been released by Telos Press. Her poem “The Illegal Age” has also recently been reprinted at Tagesspiegel and is available online.
Over the last decade, Ellen has traveled across Central and Eastern Europe researching a critical shift in the European political landscape: the rise of illiberalism. A quarter of a century after the changes of 1989—and as former Soviet sphere societies come to terms with their histories—the specters of populism, nationalism, extreme-right parties, and authoritarian rule have returned in force. Through a series of eyewitness reports, Mastering the Past offers an insider’s view of key political events, including the 2012 Russian elections, the Polish presidential plane crash in Smolensk, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s vision for a new Hungary. Hinsey explores the darkening hour of European politics with an incisive mind and an eye for detail, recording the urgent danger that illiberalism represents for the new century.
Praise for Ellen Hinsey’s Mastering the Past
“Ellen Hinsey writes with power and passion: this is a formidable feast of research and interpretation. Her book is necessary and timely reading for anyone who wants to understand events in Central and Eastern Europe.”
—John S. Friedman, author and contributor to The Nation
“Ellen Hinsey’s book is a profound study that deals with a recent menacing—but not-yet-fully described or understood—phenomenon: the rebirth of backward nationalist attitudes in Eastern Europe. Based on first-hand experience, and making exemplary use of the author’s contacts with dissident intellectuals in many countries, it is an indispensable work for specialists and simply fascinating for the general reader.”
—Tomas Venclova, Lithuanian dissident and author