Texas Tech University

Paul Hollander

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

"Political Hero Worship: Intellectuals, Non-Intellectuals and the Problems of Modernity"

In his lecture, Dr. Hollander will discuss the admiration of dictators such as Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Castro (among others) on the part of many contemporary Western intellectuals (and non-intellectuals), and ask the question, can intellectuals be true believers? Brought to light will be the problems of modernity with reference to secularization, the decline of community, and social isolation. Even further, Dr. Hollander will unveil misperceptions and misconceptions of modern dictators as charismatic figures, redeemers and wise power-holders alike, and explore how the corresponding misconceptions of their political system is seen as the incarnation of social justice, solidarity and meaningful life.

Dr. Paul Hollander is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. He is author or editor of 15 books, and is currently completing a study of political hero worship in recent times.