❰Reading❯ ➸ Thinking the Twentieth Century Author Tony Judt – Transportjobsite.co.uk

❰Reading❯ ➸ Thinking the Twentieth Century Author Tony Judt – Transportjobsite.co.uk chapter 1 Thinking the Twentieth Century, meaning Thinking the Twentieth Century, genre Thinking the Twentieth Century, book cover Thinking the Twentieth Century, flies Thinking the Twentieth Century, Thinking the Twentieth Century 5e01d64f28075 The Final Book Of The Brilliant Historian And Indomitable Public Critic Tony Judt, Thinking The Twentieth Century Unites The Conflicted Intellectual History Of An Epoch Into A Soaring NarrativeThe Twentieth Century Comes To Life As An Age Of Ideas A Time When, For Good And For Ill, The Thoughts Of The Few Reigned Over The Lives Of The Many Judt Presents The Triumphs And The Failures Of Prominent Intellectuals, Adeptly Explaining Both Their Ideas And The Risks Of Their Political Commitments Spanning An Era With Unprecedented Clarity And Insight, Thinking The Twentieth Century Is A Tour De Force, A Classic Study Of Modern Thought By One Of The Century S Most Incisive ThinkersThe Exceptional Nature Of This Work Is Evident In Its Very Structure A Series Of Intimate Conversations Between Judt And His Friend And Fellow Historian Timothy Snyder, Grounded In The Texts Of The Time And Focused By The Intensity Of Their Vision Judt S Astounding Eloquence And Range Are On Display Here As Never Before Traversing The Complexities Of Modern Life With Ease, He And Snyder Revive Both Thoughts And Thinkers, Guiding Us Through The Debates That Made Our World As Forgotten Ideas Are Revisited And Fashionable Trends Scrutinized, The Shape Of A Century Emerges Judt And Snyder Draw Us Deep Into Their Analysis, Making Us Feel That We Too Are Part Of The Conversation We Become Aware Of The Obligations Of The Present To The Past, And The Force Of Historical Perspective And Moral Considerations In The Critique And Reform Of Society, Then And NowIn Restoring And Indeed Exemplifying The Best Of Intellectual Life In The Twentieth Century, Thinking The Twentieth Century Opens Pathways To A Moral Life For The Twenty First This Is A Book About The Past, But It Is Also An Argument For The Kind Of Future We Should Strive For Thinking The Twentieth Century Is About The Life Of The Mind And The Mindful Life


10 thoughts on “Thinking the Twentieth Century

  1. says:

    I would have been content to slowly meander through this superb book were it twice its length, such is the sustained quality of the exchange between Tony Judt and Timothy Snyder throughout one that took place after Judt s affliction with the ALS that would shortly take his life The latter s mind, untouched by the disease s progression, remained an unbelievably organized and retentive storehouse of information gleaned from a life lived, studied, and reflected upon that had plenty worth being brought forth under the conducting queries of the youngish interlocutor, Snyder, an American historian whose professional interests shared much common ground particularly Eastern European history with his terminally afflicted friend Organized into nine chapters thematically aligned with the various stages that comprised Judt s interesting formative,academic and professional life experiences, each begins with the latter going solo, setting the stage through revelations and ruminations from his personal biographical journey and then evolving, upon the introduction of Snyder s italicized voice, into a lengthy exchange of apposite questions and answers, postulations and expositions, and intertwined explorations centred upon the role of the intellectual, in a variety of fields, conflicts, ideologies and originations, across the span of tumultuous years that comprised the twentieth century.I think Judt s a stud He expresses himself so eloquently, wields the language with which he crafts his well considered and reasoned opinions and theories with such immaculate skill, that Snyder cannot help but suffer somewhat in comparison Yet with that said, the latter performed his particular function within this partnership close to perfection Thinking the Twentieth Century is his older friend s puppy, and he knows and respects this And while, in comparison, he comes across as abstract and stratospheric, an orator working from set piece declamations and even, at times, bromidic preciosity, it s demanded of the role he s taken on which is to generate and maintain the flow of conversation by providing the skeletal frame that Judt will proceed to enflesh and enliven by means of precise and detailed agreement, argumentation, or exposition Even when Judt bluntly dismisses a point or position taken by Snyder, the latter adroitly allows it to pass and proceeds to the next waypoint on the trail of their intellectual debate While it s true that Snyder, if he d contributed in greater depth, took issue with Judt that they might dig deeper into the discussion, would have helped in creating a rigorously balanced conversation, my feelings are that, as determinedly constructed in the light of Judt s knowledge and terminal condition, it succeeded smashingly I was delighted by the skillful pair, and passed through some four hundred pages without a single moment of tedium or impatience.And this is a book about the intellect While Judt s personal details are interspersed throughout the conversation, simultaneously serving, as noted above, to set the stage for each chapter, I found the man to be fairly constrained and reserved in what he revealed even rather humourless, though, given the topics at hand, and the grave condition of his afflicted status, that fact becomes understandable Indeed, unremittingly sober and serious tones may be called for when the discussion ranges across material like the Holocaust the rise and fall of Fascism and Communism the Marxist Left in France, Eastern Europe, and the Western World the Neoliberal advance in the face of the Left s retreat in the closing quarter of the twentieth century the benefits and failures of Social Democracy and the warpage inflicted upon modernity by the murderous ruin of two world wars bookending an extended global depression and appended with the sustained tension of a Cold War undertaken by two antipodal ideologies armed to the gills with nuclear weapons Many of the names that graced the essays collected in Reappraisals appear within Arendt, Hobsbawn, Ko akowski, Koestler, Camus, Blum, Sartre, Aron, Said together with a bevy of the new, figures from both the academic and or literary worlds, as well as the public voices and opinion formers whose words provided much steerage in the turbulent world of politics and economics Judt, who felt himself an outsider, someone struggling against the tide, never fully at ease throughout the course of his life, particularly admires those who were prepared to speak hard and unpleasant truths, take unpopular stands, when their voices mattered most In response to a query by Snyder about what he wished for when he wrote The Burden of Responsibility, Judt says I was moving towards the idea that all three men were genuinely independent thinkers in a time and a place where being independent placed you in real danger, as well as consigning you to the margins of your community and to the disdain of your fellow intellectuals.Maybe I thought this story worth telling because there is a subterranean twentieth century tale to be told of intellectuals who were forced by circumstances to stand outside and even against their natural community of origin. The discussions of Judt s Jewish heritage and early forged and rapidly soured enthusiasms for Zionism and Israel are set against the legacy of the Holocaust and his later role as a lauded and decried critic of Israel, particularly in its relationship with the Palestinians This Jewish background to his own familial and the twentieth century s story entwines around extended discoursing upon the Fascism and Communism that stood as the most formidable enemies of liberal democracy of the past century Of interest was Judt s dismissal, against the probing by Snyder, of the worth of Fascist intellectuals to the discussion, deeming their separation from universality in the pursuit of top level truths aimed at national and ethnic particularism fell outside the historical narrative and, hence, had little to teach us an opinion that reverses itself when it comes to the communists and anarchists He also ranges over his early academic investiture in the French Left and French Socialism, as well as the Eastern Europe that enthralled him to the degree that he learned the Czech language and immersed himself in the works and history of that fractious and troubled area so badly misused by the Red and Nazi armies that vied bloodily for and across their boundless expanse With Judt s extensive understanding of this area, so potently applied within Postwar , complemented by Snyder s own appreciable academic and personal knowledge of the same, this lesser known half of the European continent receives a degree of attention from the pair that sheds new light and shores up prior awareness.In my opinion, the book grows stronger as the chapters progress, culminating in a pair American Moralist and Social Democrat that see the two expounding profoundly upon the current state of the West, with the focus upon America While Judt and Snyder are firmly of the Left, champions of social democracy, the former is glint eyed when it comes to dissecting the faults and failures, the abrasions with reality that he has perceived on his side of the political divide With the stoniness of a realist he pronounces upon the inherent faults he espies within the democratic process its increasing proclivity for electing mediocre politicians, the tendency of a public exposed to ever greater economic and individual freedoms for impatience with the political process and hence desirous of a daddy figure who will steer the ship of state through messy problems and contentious states with a firm hand little concerned about the restraints inhering within the rule of law To that end, Judt also muses about the ill potentialities for liberal societies within the massification of politics in his determination, mass culture affects political orderliness like free markets affect economic stability As for the state of politics in the Western world, Judt s assessment is bluntly succinct The unpleasant truth is normally, in most places, that you re being lied to. Which is followed up by an examination of how this culture of lies has become the norm in our political culture, and that serves as the focal point about which Judt makes his case for the perduring relevance and significance of the public intellectual as a purveyor of truth, no matter how uncomfortable the perch may prove to self or audience.The final chapter has a particularly somber, almost elegiac air, ranging as is does about the uncertain and or declining state of social democracy in tandem with the increasing turn to an unrestrained capitalism that has marked the recent decades While always acknowledging its flaws, Judt s defense, abetted by Snyder, of the socialist state and all that it has achieved and allowed for its practicing nations and their citizenry is contrasted with the market delusions and destabilization metastasized upon a public that seemingly cannot competently deal with the burgeoning complexity of a frenetically paced modernity while increasingly convinced that the state in consideration of the victor in the competition between ideologies that ended at the turn of the nineties is a lurking tyrant instead of proven guarantor against the inequalities and disparities engendered within liberal societies on the upswing of the capitalist pendulum a provider of a host of services that are not performed, in their opinions, at any marked improvement when devolved upon private industry He and Snyder also effectively note that social democracy, disparaged as lukewarm communistic planning by its right antagonists, came in a wide variety of implementations, mixing nationalization, regulation, government fiat, public private partnerships, marginal taxation, etc, depending upon the respective histories of the countries involved It s a nuanced approach to a subject often reduced to black and white sound bites It s all a brilliantly explored and stated case together with the previous chapter the high point of a book filled to the bursting with such.Now, I don t agree with Judt on everything When he analyses the dreadful turn things took for social democracy in the seventies, his account continuously fails to adequately explore how fed up the public itself had become, particularly in his native England, with the situation of striking unions, gasoline shortages, massive inflation, and stagnant industries a generally perceived ineffectiveness by governments against a new set of problems at a remove from the memories of the interwar years nor how popular the policies of Thatcher and Reagan were once they were similarly perceived to have produced, if not results, at least momentum And both men appear unwilling to examine the turn of neoclassical economics past the figure of Hayek, which includes giving short shrift to its various developments in the postwar decades where it gradually emerged as a formidable competitor to the Neo Keynesians In his critique of how the War on Terror has been conducted, the notice given to fundamentalist Islam barely registers When he declaims at length upon the ethics of the historian, and what constitutes good vs bad history, I felt he was at his most vague and tendentious And he dismisses some thinkers that he has long disliked without making any attempt to view their positions with seriousness It seems to me that several of those proponents of views he doesn t agree with were, in the postwar decades, intellectuals declaiming from lonely perches, ofttimes open targets for derision while pointing out truths as they saw them that is, displaying the kind of intellectual spirit that Judt champions throughout.And yet, with that said, goddamn but is there a big heaping passel of wisdom in most of what he does say, a real timber of reflection that burnishes those words with lived life I was particularly Jonesed because, at a number of points, Judt proceeded into explanations of subjects that I had myself considered and achieved an impressive to myself, that is synchronicity with the conclusions I had drawn Finding such copacetic buttresses in a thinker like Judt can t help but render you a little bit aglow I even noted how we both conceive and perhaps misapply a hypothesized link between G del and other limit espying thinkers likes Keynes and Ko akowski It remains that Judt is, overall, a reasonable and highly intelligent man who is unafraid to adjust his views when presented with new information or experience, and I personally rate such adaptable nature highly That he was also one of the lone voices arguing against the Iraq War was something I noted then and appreciate even now Finally, that he is at his most earnest, eloquent, and effective when discussing the social problems facing our modern age is of worthy aptitude, for it was a question that he came around to time and again He knew the perils of its being ignored, particularly amongst those intellectuals privileged enough to have gained access to a considerable portion of the public s ear His closing caution from Reappraisals is worth being visited anew As the great reformers of the nineteenth century well knew, the Social Question, if left unaddressed, does not just go away It goes instead in search of radical answers. Read this book, goddammit


  2. says:

    Imagine yourself an intelligent, well educated reader, fully versed in the mad turns of this wicked century careening from catstrophe to catastrophe soaked in bad faith and yet phantasms of promise and you are spending a series of afternoons in the living room of man who is dying and who is nearly a genius and you converse or rather, he converses, holds court and you try to sound smart once and awhile and sometimes he lets you get away with it and often not and you will have some idea of what Tim Snyder is up against.Snyder is fairly young early 40s and knows a lot But it is all artificial External and pretentious It is history learned by the book Judt, by contrast, breaths the ideas and men he discusses it is a part of his fabric stuff he has thought about for decades in a deep and serious way He is not always right about his material but he is always there with his material And often, he is deeply smart A very Judtean, very Upper West Side Jewish intellectual expression, of course This is not a book for everyone But those who are well versed in the sad train of the 20th century, and who understand Judt s allergies his natural recoil from everything dogmatic, authoritarian, intolerant and arrogant, his deeply humanistic anti fascism will find much of interest here.


  3. says:

    Rigging the past is the oldest form of knowledge control If you have power over the interpretation of what went before or can simply lie about it , the present and the future are at your disposal So it is simple democratic prudence to ensure that the citizenry are historically informed.This sort of text defies a review Being a recorded and transcribed conversation, it requests a similar treatment The nature of the book is that Tony Judt facing ALS was physically unable to write and instead enlisted the support of Timothy Snyder for a series of conversations comprising an intellectual history of 20th Century Europe and the U.S Bracketing these exchanges are Judt s autobiographical ruminations on childhood and academia, his immersion in both Zionism and Leftist studies and his unexpected arrival somewhere outside that trajectory This book was essentially thrust into my hands last weekend I had went to visit my friend Harold who runs a book stall at the monthly hipster flea market We began discussing i ek and before long it was on to corporations moving to the Balkans and right to work states Heidegger s ontological theology gave way to bullshit post humanism and why I, jon faith, should be reading the lectures of Foucault That last point resonated Drawing attention back to Judt s book, there is something to be said for conversation the point therof, not simply the wagging of lips I am not of the mind that regards discussion as Hegelian, that somehow synthesis is achieved, but I still enjoy the crackle and contemplation of such exchanges Judt reflects evenly on ideology and trends in social thought He articulates nicely the tension between civic responsibility and moral responsibility He doesn t believe that books will correct much The people who read them already agree with the author There is no chance of influence Strangely enough, he endorses investigative journalists with responsibility of social change Not by themselves but it is their efforts which can sway a somnambulist world view Provided of course that core education hasn t eroded completely by that point Following the pedagogic thread, he is aligned with a conservative, research driven history than its hyphenated ilk I found his thoughts on such fascinating.


  4. says:

    This is a dense, yet conversational view of the history of the 20th century and the modern world Judt relates a personal story of his childhood and early life, and then uses this as a background for a broad historical view of the circumstances which shaped and defined modern Europe Snyder, a fine historian in his own right, acts as a good counterpoint in this dialogue.These include the actions and reactions of various radical ideologies Fascism, communism, their differences , the motivations and analysis of various political and economic thinkers Keynes, Hayek, Lenin , and reactions and descriptions of events as they happened They cover a lot, and with great detail The state of Israel, the Hungarian Uprising, Vietnam, a proto Fascism developing in the United States, and so forth.I was surprised and saddened to hear that Judt passed away in 2010 I was dazzled by Postwar, his history of Europe post 1945, and was completely unaware of the news It s heartening, though, to have his legacy go on, and men like Snyder who will come after.


  5. says:

    Unremittingly, almost oppressively brilliant I want to re read this book when I grow up.


  6. says:

    A very odd book for any number of reasons The greatest cause of oddity is Timothy Snyder, who interviews Judt and edits his responses, while putting in a few words of his own, either when he has a particularly good thought, or when Judt s words need context The oddness comes from the first third of the book, in which Judt repeatedly tells Snyder that being half Jewish isn t that important to him, and that Jewish history isn t that important when thinking about world affairs and Snyder repeatedly asks Judt to talk about being half Jewish and the importance of Jewish history in world affairs A friend suggests to me that this might be Snyder trying to clear his own name recently, at least, he s been the target of anti anti semitism, because he had the temerity to point out that a lot of people died in Eastern Europe who weren t Jewish The next cause of oddity is Snyder s bizarre beliefs i that democracy in the United States was destroyed by Bush v Gore, as if a president being elected even though I exaggerate for effect 10% of the population voted for him, whereas 10.1% usually vote for presidents ii that the war in Iraq is somehow a treasonous rejection of everything that America stands for, rather than, say, business as usual Anyway, Snyder is incapable of seeing his own time objectively Judt is much better at that Third, you get Judt s own slightly ridiculous self glamorization as an outsider in the historiographical world which ramps up, unexpectedly, right when he s being made chairman of his history department and setting up his own little research establishment Some of Judt s points about the history profession, and academic life in general, are perfectly accurate I d be impressed if he d acknowledged how he benefited from the very life he s criticizing And fourth, the differences between Snyder, an American liberal, and Judt, an ex pat social democrat, play out very strangely Watching the two of them discuss communism, socialism, the histories of those movements, and their relationship to contemporary politics is fascinating, but both seem to someone my age to be marked a bit too strongly with Cold War prejudices Snyder particularly, but also Judt when he s in Isiah Berlin mode against, you know, trying to make the world better This clashes rather brutally with their repeated assertions that the free market isn t free, or all that good at making human life bearable A little less skepticism towards changing the world would have been nice On the other hand, all of these oddities get softened occasionally, as when Judt suggests that democracy is neither sufficient nor necessary for a good, open society One final note this is not an introduction to twentieth century history, intellectual or otherwise, and if you don t know much about it, I m not sure you ll get much from the book I m sure I failed to understand plenty of allusions.


  7. says:

    Tohle mohla b t fantastick kniha Obrovskou z sluhu, e tahle kniha v bec vznikla m Timothy Snyder, jinak autor opusu Krvav zem Bohu el, on je tak p vodcem m ho roz arov n Ale ne se k tomuto bodu dostanu, mus m napsat n co ke kontexu, v kter m kniha vynikla Tony Judt byl historik a intelektu l sv tov ho form tu A teprve po p e ten t hle knihy jsem si uv domil, e i v t hle oblasti jsou lid podobn ch kvalit a v znamu jako t eba Albert Einstein ve fyzice, John Coltrane v jazzu, nebo Jarda J gr v hokeji.A kdyby bylo jenom na Judtovi, tak by tahle kniha neexistovala ist proto, e by ji nebyl schopen fyzicky napsat Judt toti trp l smrtelnou nervovou chorobou, kter ho v pr b hu vzniku knihy m d l v ce paralizovala V dob dokon ov n knihy u byl schopen ovl dat jen o i a hlasivky.Zde p ich z ke slovu Snyder, jeho dlouholet p tel, kter s n m m s ce vedl dlouh intelektu ln rozhovory, kter p etavil do t to knihy Za to pat Snyderovi velik nsk d k Jestli to nebyla slu ba lidstvu, tak intelektu l m ur it.Kniha je koncipov na do n kolika kapitol, kter postupn chronologicky mapuj Judt v intelektu ln ivot Druhou p lku ka d kapitoly tvo rozhovor mezi Snyderem a Judtem, kter vych z z kontextu t prvn p lky kapitoly.Biografick st kapitol je velmi tiv a zaj mav a klidn by mohla souborn fungovat i samostatn Rozporupln mi p ijde ta druh , rozhovorov st V dycky, kdy jsem k n do el m hrozn vytrhla z kontextu Jdete po ulici a najednou v m n kdo vlep facku tak ne ekan to je Ne e byste ne ekali, e nep ijde rozhovor Ale ten obsah, to, na co se Snyder pt , tak p sob.A tak v dycky, kdy do lo na rozhovor, sna il jsem se p ij t na to, odkud to p i lo Hodn mi v tom pom hal Judt, kter sv mi odpov mi vracel t ma zp tky do kontextu A kvalita jeho odpov d je stejn jako u biografick ch st je to tiv , zaj mav a inspiruj c.Na za tku recenze jsem nazna oval superlativy jak pro knihu, tak pro Judta To proto, e si uv dom te, jak je opravdov , nebo p vodn v znam slova intelektu l je to lov k, kter dok e sklenout my lenkovou konstrukci velikosti, stability a kr sy katedr ly A to nemluv m o n jak m malebn m kostel ku m m na mysli skvosty, jako je t eba katedr la v Reme i.


  8. says:

    This book records an extended series of discussions between two great historians Tony Judt who wrote Postwar and Tim Snyder, who wrote Bloodlands The focus is clearly on Judt, who at the time had recently been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and has since died While Judt is the distinguished of the two, Snyder is also a great scholar and a nearly perfect complement to Judt The conversational format was chosen because Judt s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that soon kept him from writing further, even while his mind remained intact.The book is an odd collection of intellectual biography, professional discussion on the craft of the historian, intellectual history of the twentieth century, and discussion of the role of the academic as public intellectual in times of great change The chapters begin with biography and then shift into other topics, generally following a chronological order.The discussion is fascinating on several levels First, he Judt was an interesting person whom I only learned about after 2000 The discussion of intellectual history is refreshing and goes against most of the well worn categories familiar to many Americans The tone is decidedly liberal but importantly intelligent and critical Whether one agrees or disagrees with them, these discussions are thoughtful and responsible and anything but ideologically stultified This even includes discussions of economics, with which cultural historians tend to do poorly The biography is also fascinating, although it pertains to an intellectual time very different from the present The discussions on the craft of history are also stimulating I have read history for a long time and frequently try to be clear about why I think some work or another is good history The discussion here is helpful Additional areas of discussion, such as on the Holocaust and the history of Eastern Europe are also noteworthy Be prepared to prod your memory, however, if you wish to keep up with the discussion These two authors have forgotten material than most of the rest of us have read While the book does not have the focus of a major historical work, such as these authors are best known for, it is highly stimulating and holds the attention well I expected it to be good, but it was actually very good.


  9. says:

    So the choice we face in the next generation is not or capitalism versus communism, or the end of history versus the return of history, but the politics of social cohesion, based along collective purposes, versus the erosion of society by the politics of fear.And Judt argues that we need to do so based on a new project of defining what the United States own values and goals are, not by looking to European social democracy for a set of institutions to import.This is a wide ranging, and for me uneven, but ultimately very provocative and informative collection of comments on topics of varying interest for any given reader Judt talks about his own background and intellectual development, his youthful engagement with Zionism, academic politics in England, France and the US, and his marital ups and downs including one instance of a complete disregard for teacher student relationship ethics These were of some interest, mainly to set a context for evaluating his opinions expressed in the content chapters.I confess to being out of my depth in the conversations about French philosophy and politics, not having read the people discussed the sections on Eastern Europe were quite interesting Since Judt knew a lot about France than Eastern Europe, however, I can t judge how reliable the latter part was I thought there was a light treatment of some aspects of American politics and society, in particular the role of Evangelical Christianity in shaping policy on Israel But they covered a lot of ground, so perhaps that s unfair In general, I sense that Judt s interest in intellectual history was so focused that he missed or downplayed other factors to some extent However, the last few chapters on the recent past and future of the United States, particularly as opposed to Europe, did pose some excellent questions or suggestions So, I would say skim the parts that are not up your alley, and focus on those that are I think the sections can be read fairly independently, although they do build.


  10. says:

    20 , , 89 1989 , , , Tony Judt , 62 , 20 , , Judt , , , , , , , , Judt , , , , Timothy Snyder , Judt , New York Review of Books New Republic , , , , , Judt Howard Zinn 20 , Tony Judt , www.slpress.gr 12 09 2018


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