Thinking Politically brings together a series of remarkable interviews with Raymond Aron that form a political history of our time. Ranging over an entire lifetime, from his youthful experience with the rise of Nazi totalitarianism in Berlin to the denouement of the cold war, Aron meditates on the threats to liberty and reason in the bloody twentieth century. Originally published as The Commuted Observer, this volume provides one of the fullest accounts available of the dramatic events of the "short century," which began with the pistol shot in Sarajevo in 1914 and ended with the collapse of the Ideological monsters whose deadly nature Aron had ruthlessly exposed for a half-century.
In addition to the interviews published in the original edition. Thinking Politically incorporates three interviews never before published in book form. This supplemental material clarifies Aron's role as a voice of prudential reason in an unreasonable age and allows unparalleled access to the principal influences on Aron's thought. The volume concludes with "Democratic States and Totalitarian States," an address by Aron to the French Philosophical Society as well as the accompanying debate with Jacques Maritaln, Victor Basch, and other intellectuals. Thinking Politically serves as an ideal gateway into Aron's reflections, and offers a superb single-volume introduction to the major events and conflicts of the twentieth century. It will be a welcome addition to the libraries of political theorists, historians, sociologists, philosophers, and citizens wishing to understand the political and intellectual currents of the age.