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I'm Jon Van Til, Professor Emeritus of Urban Studies and Community Planning at Rutgers University, Camden.   I've been privileged not only with long life--I was born in 1939 in Ohio--but I also served a long and satisfying career as an applied sociologist. I did a number of things and I wrote a number of things and many of these things may be found  on an earlier website: The visitor to this website is most welcome to consult the earlier site, and I will try to provide as little duplication as possible. This is something quite new and different: I intended to be reflective of a continuing post employment career.

My email address is  Please write me there if you wish,


I now reside in Budapest during the academic year, with my wife, Prof. Agnes Kover-Van Til of ELTE University.  Here I continue to explore the long-time Van Til family interest in the Danube region.  In 1938, my father William Van Til’s  book The Danube Flows Through Fascism was published by Scribner’s. Part travelogue and part political commentary, this lively book describes a 900-mile foldboat trip down the Danube taken by the author and his new bride in the summer of 1937.  During this odyssey, my intrepid parents paddled through Hitler’s Germany, pre-Anschluss Austria, and Hungary on the brink, eventually reaching the Iron Gates in what was then Yugoslavia. (Cf. William Van Til, The Danube Flows Through  Fascism.  New York: Scribner’s, 1938.)  The four chapters dealing with the trip through Hungary have been translated into Hungarian and published in the journal Esely in 2012. 

The book has long been out of print, and I spent a good bit of this Spring talking it out as an audiobook, and am delighted to present it here without charge.  If you'd like to listen to my reading, it's on an electronic address that can be reached by a few productive clicks.

Click here to hear the audiobook.


Before I started living in Hungary most of the time, my American home was near Terre Haute, Indiana, in a lovely lakeside home my parents bought some 50 years ago when my progressive educator father was appointed Coffman distinguished professor of education at Indiana State University.  Dad died in 2007 at age 96, and it was a delight to live close to my mother as she made it past the century mark.

Much of Indiana resembles Hungary in terms of territory, population, economic base, urbanism/rurality and political culture.  About 10 million people in a geographical oblong, lots of pigs and corn, one big city at the center, and a propensity to elect as maximal leader folks like Mike Pence and Viktor Orban.  I never found a handle to write about Indiana, but in Hungary I did try a few articles for the Huffington Post and greatly enjoyed working with a number of colleagues on a book on about Hungarian oppositional forces.  These writings can be found in my section of the very useful web resource.

Emerging from the template of Chapter 11 (Listen, Mr. Hitler) of Dad's volume, I am here releasing an essay originally drafted in 2014, titled “Listen, Mr. Orban.”  You may read that lively essay on my ResearchGate page.


Within the last year or so I worked with a number of colleagues to assemble a project on responses of the voluntary sector to the COVID pandemic. I also was delighted when I was invited by the GrantStation organization to write a guest essay and to be the subject of a substantial interview about my work. The study of voluntary action and civil society, and the encouragement of productive forms of the same, comprised most of my professional life and works. Over the past 50 years, much of that work has been centered in the network and publications of ARNOVA, the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. My reflections on the development of that association, and my own involvement ,will soon be posted in video  form on this page.


I've served as a Fulbright Scholar and Specialist in Northern Ireland, Hungary, and Turkey.  I'll soon be adding a video presentation on those experiences to this page.


Roy Van Til writes about THE DANUBE FLOWS THROUGH FASCISM 91938):

My father William Van Til wrote a book published by Scribner’s in 1938 entitled “The Danube Flows Through Fascism: Nine Hundred Miles in a Fold-boat”. It details the extraordinary river journey he and my mother, Bee Blaha Van Til, were brave or crazy enough to make in the summer of 1937 when they were 26 years of age and married for two years. My dad’s editor was the talented Maxwell Perkins.

This is my favorite book in the world: The writing is eloquent. The context of the story on the eve of Armageddon is compelling. The romance is real and palpable. And the sense of history is powerful and chilling, for the haunting and thunderous echoes of the tribal past under the storm clouds of fascism still resound ominously in our unstable times.

My dear brother Jon recorded his reading of this work of nonfiction this April and May from his home in Budapest. The first half you can click on, without fear of any corruption of the data, is over five hours in length and includes the initial 15 chapters. The remaining fourteen chapters are also safe from gremlins, and takes over four hours in total to listen to. Chapters average 20 minutes in length and make for ideal listening for any quiet time you might be able to carve out of your busy days.

When the spirit moves you, please give it a go. I believe you will find the audio version to be as engrossing, inspiring, uplifting and relevant as the text itself, or possibly even more emotionally engaging. Jon does an exceptionally fine job of bringing the words to life. You may feel time itself melt away while you are whisked away with Bee & Bill in spirit in "the Duck” as they journey courageously through the heart of Europe on the tenuous brink of a most fateful period in the history of the world. I am excited for you as you begin this odyssey.

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Roy Van Til writes about this book: My father William Van Til wrote a book published by Scribner’s in 1938 entitled “The Danube Flows...

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