Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Online Book Launch organized by the Európa Publishing House and Blinken OSA
Sándor Révész – István Dobi – The Forgotten Head of State
Online book launch
András Mink, historian talks with the author.
October 20, at 7:00 p.m., 2020
Who was István Dobi? It is not easy to decide who this seemingly familiar head of state really was, who at the end sank into obscurity. Perhaps ‘the youngest son of the poor man’, who struggled with poverty and nominally won half of the kingdom but could not even be a real king on his throne. Perhaps the politician, who understood Hungarian land and peasants the most, who by representing cooperatives though, has worsened the situation of those living from the land. Perhaps the puppet of Rákosi and Kádár, who struggled with alcoholism, and who clearly saw many signs of the system’s inability to function, yet his role consisted of handling the negligible cases eagerly. Perhaps one of our most popular head of state, since before ‘Uncle Árpi’, he was ‘Uncle Pista’ for the rural peasantry, and was even called ‘My Beloved Leader’ at times.
Behind the scenes of his life – his ascension and his quiet downfall –are all the peculiarities, compulsories, and compromises of the system. All such contradictions, the understanding of which brings the reader closer to the understanding of the history of Hungary.
Sándor Révész is a Pulitzer Memorial Prize-winning journalist and historian. Editor of Beszélő, then Népszabadság, currently a colleague of HVG, and the columnist of Mozgó Világ. Thousands of his articles and studies have been published in various Hungarian newspapers, as well as in newspapers in Esperanto.