Homo Orbánicus

Paul Lendvai, a Hungarian-Austrian journalist who spent several decades reporting on Central Europe for the Financial Times, has written a highly illuminating biography of Viktor Orbán, whom he calls “the ablest and most controversial politician in modern Hungarian history.” Orbán: Hungary’s Strongman also serves as a useful overview of Hungarian history since the fall of communism—after all, Orbán has been central to the country’s development since at least the late-1990s, when he was first elected prime minister. Lendvai portrays him as ruthless, absolutely relentless in the pursuit of power, and, on many occasions, outright vengeful.

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