Adriaan Van Dis, Maaza Mengiste en Abeer Soliman wrote books on ideals. Van Dis' novel Tikkop relates the history of two white men who as students got involved in the international resistance against Apartheid in South Africa. Mengiste wrote The Lion and the Emperor about the Ethiopian revolution which started in 1974 with the dethroning of emperor Haile Selassie. Soliman is working on a book about three generations in Egypt, the generation of the Nasser revolution, the 1970s, the generation of the exploiters and the present 'lost' generation. Joris Luyendijk talks to the writers about the loss, rebirth and clash between old and new ideals. In English.