An immensely important work. Review by Brett Stevens. I plan to publish an extensive review/critique of this book of my own as part of an essay series I’m currently developing.
It’s unreasonable to expect book reviewers to be objective. You get hired on to review a book because your editor thinks that, given where you are in life, you give your readers a reasonable assessment of the utility of the book to them. Whether that’s enjoyment or practical utility doesn’t matter much.
In the case of Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right by Tomislav Sunic, the reaction of this reviewer was both enjoyment and a difficult but rewarding practical utility. This is not a book you read like a novel or technical manual; it’s a book you bite off in small bits, chew and contemplate for a few days before returning.
Part of the reason for this power is Sunic’s habit, reminiscent of Aldous Huxley in The Perennial Philosophy (and emulated on this blog), of stitching together the words of many others into a coherent narrative. If in a large room, each person knows part of a story, the storyteller is the guy who calls them out in order to teach recite their part. In the case of the New Right, we see over a dozen historians from both left and right who each contribute a vital point in the outline that makes the argument.
The other part for the power of this book comes from its editors, who compiled an excellent series of introductions by Alain de Benoist, David J. Stennet, Paul Gottfried and Sunic himself, in addition to including an equally powerful series of appendices including the summary of New Right beliefs in Manifesto for a European Resistance by de Benoist and Charles Champetier. These give background to the broader work that Sunic does and show the evolution of these concepts toward a definitive political and cultural ideology.