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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 01:55 PM
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Tony Judt, Chronicler of History, Is Dead at 62
Source: The New York Times

Tony Judt, the author of Postwar, a monumental history of Europe after World War II, and a public intellectual known for his sharply polemical essays on American foreign policy, the state of Israel and the future of Europe, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 62.

The death was announced in a statement from New York University, where he had taught for many years. The cause was complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrigs disease, which he learned he had in September 2008. In a matter of months the disease left him paralyzed and able to breathe only with mechanical assistance, but he continued to lecture and write.

Mr. Judt (pronounced Jutt), who was British by birth and education but who taught at American universities for most of his career, began as a specialist in postwar French intellectual history, and for much of his life he embodied the idea of the French-style engaged intellectual. 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 worlds sole superpower.

...He had the unusual ability to see and convey the big picture while, at the same time, going to the heart of the matter, said Mark Lilla, who teaches intellectual history at Columbia University. Most academics do neither they float in between. But Tony was able to talk about the big picture and explain why it matters now.

...During his last public appearance, he told the audience that some of his American friends felt that seeing him talk about A.L.S. would be uplifting. But he added, Im English, and we dont do uplifting.




Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/books/08judt.html?_r=...
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 02:04 PM
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1. The Man Will be Missed, Sir
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Ricochet21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I agree
I agree
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mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 02:10 PM
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2. Damn, he was one of the greats.
Rest in peace and thank you Mr. Judt.

:(
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 02:12 PM
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3. Norman Davies on "Postwar"
Overall, the great schoolmaster in the sky might mark this effort at 8 or 9 out of 10. Determined nit-pickers, with their own priorities, might rate it lower. The only sensible response to their carping is: "Let them produce something better." In reality, it is most unlikely that Judt's achievement will be superseded soon.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2005/dec/03/featuresrev...
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I agree with that!
Edited on Sat Aug-07-10 05:21 PM by Odin2005
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 02:43 PM
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4. Damn; I'd just picked up a couple of his books, too. (nt)
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 05:18 PM
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6. RIP, Mr. Judt!
Im English, and we dont do uplifting. LOL at the gallows humor!

I have Postwar, he was a great historian.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
8. If you get a chance to read his memoirs in NYRB, they are well worth it
A clip from the UK Guardian--

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/07/historian-t...

Tony Judt, the British writer, historian and professor who was recently described as having the "liveliest mind in New York", has died after a two-year struggle with motor neurone disease.

Considered by many to be a giant in the intellectual world, Judt chronicled his illness in unsparing detail in public lectures and essays giving an extraordinary account that won him almost as much respect as his voluminous historical and political work, for which he was feted on both sides of the Atlantic.

Judt was born in 1948 and grew up in south London. His mother's parents had emigrated from Russia; his father was Belgian, descended from a line of Lithuanian rabbis.

His academic career began with a history degree and PhD at Cambridge and took him eventually to New York University, where he was the Erich Maria Remarque professor in European studies, director of the Remarque Institute and a renowned teacher.

His finest work was widely thought to be Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, published in 2005 and an enormous critical success. It was described by the Yale historian Timothy Snyder as "the best book on its subject that will ever be written by anyone".
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