Through a masterly and cynical manipulation of ethnic nationalism, and deep-rooted corruption, Prime Minister Orbán has exploited successive electoral victories to build a closely knit and superrich oligarchy. More than any other EU leader, he wields undisputed power over his people. Orbán’s ambitions are far-reaching. Hailed by governments and far-right politicians as the champion 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 pose a formidable challenge to the survival of liberal democracy in a divided Europe. Mining exclusive documents and interviews, celebrated journalist Paul Lendvai sketches the extraordinary rise of Orbán, an erstwhile anti-communist rebel turned populist autocrat. His compelling portrait reveals a man with unfettered power.
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.
In conversation with:
G. M. Tamás
Professor of Philosophy, Budapest; IWM Visiting Fellow