The first anniversary of Croatian academic Ivo Banac’s death coincides with publishing an almanac of scientific work in his honor.
As the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute reported on its website, the motivation for the book is not Banac’s death, but rather the 70th birthday Dr. Banac celebrated in 2017, when the honoring symposium was arranged for him. Ivo Banac sadly died on June 30, 2020.
The almanac titled “Liber Amicorum” (which is Latin for Book of Friends) gathered rogether authors who were friends, colleagues, and students of Ivo Banac. Their work showcased in this book consists of opinions and takes on various aspects of the life and career of Ivo Banac, as well as pieces of research, texts, and work encouraged and inspired by Banac himself, whom the authors wanted to share first and foremost with him.
The Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, the Croatian Catholic University, and Hrvatska Sveučilišna Naklada (Croatian University Edition) are the publishers of the book.
“The Gruž Symposium was a happy and joyful event after which many had the need to say much more is expected from Ivo. Only three years after cheerful toasts, we faced the professor’s sudden, fast and unquestionable departure. One of the ways we tried to deal with this loss is working on this book“, said Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute at the event that was organized in 2017 in honor of Ivo Banac.
Born on March 1, 1947, in Dubrovnik, Ivo Banac began his educational journey in Catholic institutions in New York (his father was a sailor, and the family moved to the USA). He finished Jesuits Gymnasium and received a BA at Fordham University, and then moved to Standford for his MA (1971) and Ph.D. (1975). He was an academic, historian, politician (founder of the Liberal Party in 1997), and a writer (among nine books, he had a column in the Jutarnji List daily newspaper). He was a regular professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, and was also a professor at Yale in the US and Budapest, Hungary. His most famous book was „National Question in Yugoslavia“ (published in 1984). He was a member of the Croatian Helsinki Committee (2007), and for a brief time in 2003, a minister in the government lead by a social democrat prime minister Ivica Račan.
Biografije.hr pointed out Banac’s controversy for being one of the most known converters in modern Croatian history. From being a member of the New left organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), to a liberal, then right-wing. Nevertheless, his political turmoils, his friends, and colleagues remember him for being a great scientist and intellectual.
”This book reflects a plethora of interests that characterized Banac’s work, but also the interests and efforts of his students, the new generation to whom Banac was their mentor and had high hopes for,” concluded the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.
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