“the increasing intrusion of mind intonthe structure of material events.” Economicnforces, he was beginning tonperceive, far from being the determiningnfacts of history, are not even reallynvery important ones. “It took me anquarter of a century to formulate this:nthat the very opposite of not only whatnKarl Marx but also of what AdamnSmith had said is true — that the essentialnmatter, whether in the history ofnpersons or in that of nations, is whatnthey think and believe, while the materialnorganization of society and of theirnlives is the superstructure of that.”nThis insight was not of course onencalculated to appeal to American socialnscientists in the material heyday ofntheir materialistic thought; even lessnwelcome, perhaps, was John Lukacs’nconviction that “history is more thannan academic discipline … it is a formnof thought.” In what he regards as hisnmost important book. Historical Consciousness,npublished first in the laten60’s, Lukacs developed this idea, arguingnthat a consciousness of history —nentailing the ability to think in historicalnterms — is a product of the past fewncenturies and hence of the modernnworld, which is presently drawing to anclose. “[Ijmagination,” he speculatesnin his latest book, “has its own history,npart and parcel of the evolving historicitynof our consciousness, which is probablynthe only kind of evolution there is,nand perhaps — contra Darwin —thenonly kind of evolution worth thinkingnand talking about.”nUltimately, no aspect of JohnnLukacs’ work has been as unpopular —nin fact, loathsome — as its author’s recognitionnthat, while communism hasnbeen a spent force in the world since atnleast 1945, the regnant ideology ofnmodern times has been nationalism,nwhich bodes well to survive the passingnof the modern age itself. “The principlenpower among men,” Lukacs insistsnin Confessions, “is still nationalism . . .n[which] survived Hitler, in every part ofnthe world from Israel to Ulster.” InnThe Last European War (1976),nLukacs invited his readers to give duenweight to the noun “Socialism” (as inn”National Socialism”), rather thannstressing, as is usually done, the Nazinmodifier; also to consider how rrianynsupposedly progressive parties and governmentsnaround the world have employednthe word in order to divertnattention from their primarily nationallistnaims. In their resentment, some ofnLukacs’ critics have suggested thatnLukacs himself is some kind of totalitariannapologist, despite his havingnbeen repeatedly at pains over the yearsnto stress that he is a patriot, not annationalist; a reactionary, not a conservative.nThe distinction, he claims, wasnborne in upon him as a boy before thenwar, when he began to notice thendifferences between a speech by Hitlernand one by Churchill — in particularnthe difference between the fields of’nreference employed by the speakers.nThe reactionary, Lukacs perceived,nwas concerned with traditions and constellationsnof old values; the “conservative”nwith blood, tribal resentments,nand aggressions^ Having learned thisninvaluable lesson, the young Lukacsnceased to refer to himself as a “socialist,”naccepting instead the identity ofnthe author of this book: “I [am] anreactionary, a Westerner, and a bourgeois.”nAmong the most interesting passagesnin Confessions of an OriginalnSinner are those describing JohnnLukacs’ impressions of the UnitednStates during his early years in thisncountry. In New York he was struck bynthe oldness of the faces he saw aroundnhim, the faces of men and womennprematurely aged. It was in their aspirationsnthat they were old, he decided:na theory that seemed congruent withnhis developing idea that, intellectuallynspeaking, Americans are at least a generationnbehind their European contemporaries.nOnly superficially wasnAmerica a new country, and this wasnpartly owing to the fact of its havingnforgotten one of the oldest of oldnthings. “When I set foot in the UnitednStates, I was not newly born; I was notna New Man. I was a representative ofnthe doctrine of Original Sin.” As such,nhe was also a representative of reaction:nof the trust in land over technology, innhistory over evolution. For this reason,nhis adopted country has not alwaysnbeen very appreciative of—nor evennterribly kind to — him. As such again,nfinally, has John Lukacs been, fornneariy forty years, the voice of thenprophet, crying in the American wilderness.nChilton Williamson, Jr. ‘s latest booknis The Homestead, a novel.nnnHomme Serieuxnby F. W. BrownlownRudyard Kiplingnby Martin Seymour-SmithnNew York: St. Martin’s Press;n375 pp., $22.95nKipling should be a fascinating subjectnfor literary history. He wasnenormously gifted and successful, thenchild of a modest, nonconformist Anglo-Scotnfamily that, besides producingnhim, also produced his cousin, the conservativenprime minister Stanley Baldwin.nOne of his aunts married EdwardnBurne-Jones; another married Sir JamesnBaldwin, chairman of the Great WesternnRailway, and a third married E.J.nPoynter, a distinguished Victorian artistnwho became director of the NationalnGallery and president of the RoyalnAcademy. Swinburne and the Rossettisnwere at Kipling’s parents’ wedding reception.nWhat social quirk could havencaused this run of family successes?nKipling himself became the first reallynimportant English writer to work in ancontext wider than that provided bynEngland itself He was born in India,nwhere he spent his first two years; grewnup in England, and then began hisncareer by returning to India; went backnto England, married an American, andnlived in America; finally returned tonEngland again, and ended life as anSussex man. The result, as T.S. Eliotnsaid, was “a peculiar detachment andnremoteness from all environment,” thensource of the strange, sometimes visionarynobjectivity of his best writing. And ofncourse Kipling wrote at a fascinatingntime in English history, the decades ofnimperial self-consciousness to which henwas laureate, critic, and analyst.nNone of this interests Martin Seymour-Smithnvery much. He is a mannwith a thesis which, insofar as I cannfollow it, goes like this: Kipling begannlife like all bright boys as a good liberalnwith normal homosexual proclivities,noffset in his case by a strong impulse tonimpose himself upon others. On comingnto man’s estate and discovering hisnsexual tendencies, he recoiled into outand-outnimperialism and authoritarianism.nHe did, however, have one satisfactorynlove affair, with an American literarynentrepreneur from Vermont callednWolcott Balestier, a man with verynJULY 1990/39n