Historian and critic Tony Judt has died

borntorum

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The noted historian Tony Judt, best known for his monumental history of Europe since 1945, "Postwar", has died. He had been suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.

According to the New York Times:

An impassioned left-wing Zionist as a teenager, he shed his faith in agrarian socialism and Marxism early on and became, as he put it, a “universalist social democrat” with a deep suspicion of left-wing ideologues, identity politics and the emerging role of the United States as the world’s sole superpower.
An article in today's Irish Independent stated:

British academic Tony Judt is one of our greatest living historians, courageous, controversial and passionate.

He has castigated French intellectuals and politicians of the post-war era for their "self-imposed moral amnesia" concerning collaboration with the Nazis and drawn the fire of many Zionists for his views on Israel.

His 2005 book, Post-war: A History of Europe Since 1945 won huge praise (and some criticism) for its sweeping, encyclopaedic scope and challenging conclusions.
Tony Judt, Author and Intellectual, Is Dead - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

Race against time to complete a life's work - Lifestyle, Frontpage - Independent.ie
 


owedtojoy

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The noted historian Tony Judt, best known for his monumental history of Europe since 1945, "Postwar", has died. He had been suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.

According to the New York Times:



An article in today's Irish Independent stated:



Tony Judt, Author and Intellectual, Is Dead - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

Race against time to complete a life's work - Lifestyle, Frontpage - Independent.ie
I read Postwar - twice, also his articles in NYRB.

A tremendous loss.
 

Cogadh

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I attended a lecture of his once, very good.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
 

IvoShandor

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I'm sorry to hear this. Coincidentally, I'm reading "Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century " and finding it extremely good.
 

borntorum

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The Guardian's obituary, written by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, is now online:

In the 1960s, Cambridge produced a remarkable generation of historians – David Cannadine, Linda Colley and Simon Schama among others – but one name acquired a particular resonance. Well before his death at 62 from motor neurone disorder, Tony Judt flowered not only as a great historian of modern Europe, expanding from his original specialism of French 19th-century socialism to encompass the whole continent, but as a brilliant political commentator.
Tony Judt obituary | Books | The Guardian
 

He3

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Sorry to hear of this. His Postwar is beside me, and I am only now discovering how good it is.
 

jacko

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Postwar is the towering achievement of a super career. Obligatory reading.

A huge loss

RIP
 

borntorum

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Yeah, a genuine loss. When so much commentary consists of little more than glib soundbites and superficial analysis, the loss of such a rigorous and powerful thinker as Judt is even more keenly felt. He didn't receive the widespread fame his talent deserved (probably because he didn't present a TV series) but hopefully his untimely death will encourage others to explore his works.
 

ne0ica

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Read his obituary in the Guardian yesterday. Very interesthing man.
 

Interista

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He didn't receive the widespread fame his talent deserved (probably because he didn't present a TV series)
There's also the fact that his sustained and principled criticism of Israel (which his opponents found very hard to refute, only partly because Judt was himself Jewish) may have made him persona non grata in certain influential media circles, particularly in the US where he lived and worked.
 

former wesleyan

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There's also the fact that his sustained and principled criticism of Israel (which his opponents found very hard to refute, only partly because Judt was himself Jewish) may have made him persona non grata in certain influential media circles, particularly in the US where he lived and worked.
Forget the " Jews control the media " stuff. Morons control the media. Fox News debates with Tony Judt ?
 

Interista

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Forget the " Jews control the media " stuff. Morons control the media. Fox News debates with Tony Judt ?
Can't argue with the 'morons' bit, certainly in the US media. Few are more brain dead than the ADL:

It's so serious in fact, that it led a group of professional Jewish leaders to try to prevent Judt from being heard any further. On October 3, Judt was supposed to give a talk about the Israel lobby to something called Network 20/20, an organization for mid-career professionals, at the Polish consulate. That talk never happened, and the group's president Patricia Huntington, who cancelled the talk that day, blamed the cancellation on "serial phone-calls from B'Nai Brith Anti-Defamation League (ADL) President Abe Foxman warned [the Polish consulate] off hosting anything involving Tony Judt."

According to a report in the New York Sun, a newspaper that is especially friendly to the Israel lobby, the Polish consulate insisted on the cancellation. But Huntington blamed the ADL, saying Foxman had threatened to poison Polish Jewish relations if Judt were allowed to speak. David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, joined in with kudos for the Poles.
But of course it wasn't. Judt launched an email campaign, in which he explained that Foxman had warned the Poles that unless they cancelled, "he would smear the charge of Polish collaboration with anti-Israeli antisemites (= me) all over the front page of every daily paper in the city (an indirect quote)." Ironically, it was many of the same liberals whom Judt slandered in his LRB essay who came to his defence. Mark Lilla of the University of Chicago and Richard Sennett of the London School of Economics e-circulated a petition to be sent to Mr. Foxman and the New York Review condemning the cancellation and this liberal, like many others signed it.
Outspoken and outcast | World news | guardian.co.uk

I don't want to divert the discussion to one about the Israel lobby, and certainly there were other reasons why Judt didn't become widely known. He certainly wasn't as simplistic or glib as handsome right-wing historians/purveyors of telegenic soundbites such as Niall Ferguson, for example. But I do think the fact that he was an outspoken critic of Israel would have done his media profile no favours, at least in America.
 

borntorum

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For those interested in the great Tony Judt, there was an excellent long feature about him recently on Arts Tonight on RTE Radio 1. His life and work was discussed by an impressive panel of

Fintan O'Toole; Professor of History at Yale University Timothy Snyder, who was collaborating with him on the forthcoming book, Thinking the Twentieth Century, and his editor at the New York Review of Books, Robert Silvers.
It's well worth listening to and can be downloaded here:

RT.ie Radio1: Arts Tonight
 

Bismarck

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Sorry to hear of Judt's death especially to such a horrible disease - an excellent historian. He fell foul of the Zionist thought police in the United States which makes him both honourable and reputable in my eyes.
May he rest in Peace
 


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