Quotation by John Lukacs

A nation is not a person, but it manifests certain personal traits, especially since it is a more organic phenomenon than a state. Its character traits are nothing more and nothing less than tendencies: but these tendencies underlie, and on occasion supersede, other tendencies, other historical conditions. They are manifest in the history of politics: consider, for example, the differences between Russian and Polish and Yugoslav Communists. They are evident in the historical development of societies: consider, for example, the difference between English and Italian industrial workers, or between French bourgeois and Austrian Burger. They are obvious in the historical unfolding of art: consider, for example, the differences between South German and South Italian baroque, or between German and Spanish "Victorian" architecture.
John Lukacs (b. 1924), Hungarian–born U.S. historian. Historical Consciousness: Or the Remembered Past, ch. 5, Schocken (1965).
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