From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez
Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship
Cambridge University Press 2016
New Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network May 13, 2017 Marshall Poe
It’s true that Western “intellectuals” have not always been wrong about dictators fighting for a supposedly “brighter future,” usually (though not always) of the non-capitalist variety. Nonetheless, as Paul Hollander well shows in his readable, relevant book From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez: Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship (Cambridge University Press, 2016), they have been wrong often enough to make one wonder if there is some sort of elective affinity between “deep thinkers” and despots promising to make the world a much, much better place. According to Hollander, there is. I won’t spoil the story for you (you should read the book), but it’s enough to make you think twice (or thrice) about anything Noam Chomsky or any would-be Noam Chomsky has to say about Hugo Chavez or any would-be Hugo Chavez.