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Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?, 21 September 2006

... the confusion and silence of American liberal thinking on the subject (as well, perhaps, as Tony Blair’s syntactically sympathetic me-tooism). Historically, liberals have been unsympathetic to ‘wars of choice’ when undertaken or proposed by their own government. War, in the liberal imagination (and not only the liberal one), is a last resort, not ...

The Way Things Are and How They Might Be

Tony Judt and Kristina Božič: An Interview, 25 March 2010

... am more or less the same age as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Gerhard Schröder, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – a pretty crappy generation, when you come to think of it, and many names could be added. It is a generation that grew up in the 1960s in Western Europe or in America, in a world of no hard choices, neither economic nor ...

After the Cold War

Eric Hobsbawm: Tony Judt, 26 April 2012

... My relations with Tony Judt date back a long time but they were curiously contradictory. We were friends, though not intimate ones, and while both of us were politically committed historians, and both preferred wearing informal gear as historians rather than regimental uniform, we marched to different drummers ...

The Atlantic Gap

Neal Ascherson: Europe since the War, 17 November 2005

Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 
by Tony Judt.
Heinemann, 878 pp., £25, October 2005, 0 434 00749 8
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... our early opinions. In other words, ‘postwar Europe’ is us. How will we look, in these pages? Tony Judt might have blurred his focus, as so many writers on the subject do. He might have attempted to define European civilisation, a term which proved meaningless in this black-hearted continent after 1945. He might have struck a transatlantic ...

At Camden Arts Centre

Marina Warner: Kara Walker , 5 December 2013

... is still going on, but should older nightmares be revived in the process? This is the question Tony Judt asks at the end of Postwar, in relation to the Holocaust. Can letting go offer a kind of renewal, or is it merely a convenience for oppressors and bystanders? In the mid-1990s black artists were angered by Walker’s insistence on raising these ...

Exit Sartre

Fredric Jameson, 7 July 1994

Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956 
by Tony Judt.
California, 348 pp., £11.95, February 1994, 0 520 08650 3
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Arguing Revolution: The Intellectual Left in Post-War France 
by Sunil Khilnani.
Yale, 264 pp., £19.95, December 1993, 0 300 05745 8
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... altogether clear that these books are histories in any conventional sense, although in the case of Judt it is only fair to inform the reader that his equivalent of Khilnani’s project is not this volume – which is something like an extended pamphlet, on the order, as he says himself, of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s Idéologie française – but rather his more ...

The Mask It Wears

Pankaj Mishra: The Wrong Human Rights, 21 June 2018

The People v. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It 
by Yascha Mounk.
Harvard, 400 pp., £21.95, March 2018, 978 0 674 97682 5
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Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World 
by Samuel Moyn.
Harvard, 277 pp., £21.95, April 2018, 978 0 674 73756 3
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... a centrist political party with a treasure trove of £50 million has surfaced. One of its patrons, Tony Blair, explained in the New York Times last March that ‘for liberal democracy to survive and thrive, we must build a new coalition that is popular, not populist.’ A reinvigorated centrism, he wrote, had to acknowledge ‘genuine cultural ...

Israel’s Putinisation

Adam Shatz: Israel’s Putinisation, 18 February 2016

... is increasingly turning its back on Europe.’ Writing in 2003, at a time of high Euro-optimism, Tony Judt described Israel as a ‘characteristically late 19th-century separatist project’ in ‘a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers and international law … Israel, in short, is an anachronism.’ Today, it is ...

The One-State Solution

Virginia Tilley: The future of Israel and Palestine, 6 November 2003

... foundational precept became an obfuscating fiction. As many people privately acknowledge, and as Tony Judt has now proposed in the New York Review of Books, the conditions for an independent Palestinian state have been killed off by the inexorable and irreversible advance of the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The two-state solution to the ...

‘J’accuse’: Dreyfus in Our Times

Jacqueline Rose: A Lecture, 10 June 2010

... For Tony Judt What is a collective passion? And is it something we should want, or get excited about? Today the political climate across the Western world is marked, we are told, by a curious and disabling atrophy or disaffection. We do not care enough. The election of Obama would be the exception. His election was of course inspirational, notably in terms of collective life: the mass registration of black voters was close to what might be called the forging of a new political constituency across generation and race ...

Populism and the People

Jan-Werner Müller, 23 May 2019

... history is to deliver us from plausible historical analogies.’ What is specific to our age, as Tony Judt once observed, is that we have become extremely skilful at teaching the lessons of history, but quite bad at teaching actual history. The truth is that today’s threats to democracy don’t parallel 20th-century experiences. Fascism – as ...

On Trying to Be Portugal

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Zionist Terrorism, 6 August 2009

‘A Senseless, Squalid War’: Voices from Palestine 1945-48 
by Norman Rose.
Bodley Head, 278 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 224 07938 9
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Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain’s War against Jewish Terrorism 1945-48 
by David Cesarani.
Heinemann, 290 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 434 01844 4
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... his recent Leonard Stein lectures, in which he went on to describe his subsequent disillusionment. Tony Judt is now an incisive critic of Israeli policy but as a youthful Zionist he flew out to help the Jewish state during the war, and remembers – this by way of contrast with his students 40 years later at New York University – that opinion at ...

Magical Thinking about Isis

Adam Shatz, 3 December 2015

... Saudi Arabia’s top supplier of advanced military technology.2 In one of his last interviews, Tony Judt said: When Bush said that we are fighting terrorism ‘there’ so that we won’t have to fight them ‘here’, he was making a very distinctively American political move. It is certainly not a rhetorical trope that makes any sense in ...

The Sound of Cracking

Pankaj Mishra: ‘The Age of the Crisis of Man’, 27 August 2015

The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-73 
by Mark Greif.
Princeton, 434 pp., £19.95, January 2015, 978 0 691 14639 3
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Moral Agents: Eight 20th-Century American Writers 
by Edward Mendelson.
New York Review, 216 pp., £12.99, May 2015, 978 1 59017 776 1
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... craving for universal mastery and control was rekindled in 1989 among many members of what Tony Judt called the ‘crappy generation’ – the one that ‘grew up in the 1960s in Western Europe or in America, in a world of no hard choices, neither economic nor political’. Judt’s indictment extended beyond ...

‘We’ know who ‘we’ are

Edward Said: Palestine, Iraq and ‘Us’, 17 October 2002

... the major West Bank towns. In the long run all this is damaging to Israel’s future: as Tony Judt has recently argued, Israel cannot remain on Palestinian land and is simply putting off the inevitable withdrawal. The war against terrorism has permitted Israel and its supporters to commit war crimes against the Palestinian population of the West ...

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