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Thinking the Twentieth Century:…
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Thinking the Twentieth Century: Intellectuals and Politics in the…

by Tony Judt, Timothy Snyder

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
We lost Tony Judt just when the 21st century was about to ratchet up to a higher level of craziness, including authoritarian trends, spreading terrorism, concrete evidence of climate change, nuclear proliferation and extinction of species. We really miss the analysis he would have provided. This book is a wide-ranging series of musings on various aspects of his thought on and experience in the 20th century developed in dialogue with Tim Snyder. ( )
  drsabs | Oct 31, 2017 |
Before his death from ALS, Tony Judt unexpectedly blossomed into an intellectual titan: penning a history of post-WWII Europe, writing essays for the New York Review of Books, and collecting reminiscences of his lifetime. And just as luckily for us, all of those found print—Europe in the critically-acclaimed Postwar, his last essays in Ill Fares the Land, and his memoir in The Memory Chalet.

Yet Thinking the Twentieth Century is an altogether stranger beast: Judt's last work, which by necessity took the form of a conversation between himself and fellow-historian Timothy Snyder. Interspersed with Judt's own remembrances of his personal/professional trajectory and other topics, he and Snyder begin to trace how exactly liberalism won out over totalitarianism—first in the form of fascism, and then in the long grind against communism. This victory was by no means assured, and seemed impossible at points in the 30s and 40s. Yet it happened, and they tease out how exactly that victory was won.

It's not a book for everyone to be sure, and you'd be better-served tackling one of Judt's other more traditional works first. But it's a marvelous chronicle of a mind at work, and sadly the last one we'll get. ( )
  gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
A pleasant journey through the delusional world of the intellectual mind, replete with straw men, ad hominem attacks, and hackneyed economic theory. A good case of Bush Derangement Syndrome adds a bit of humor to an otherwise waste of reading time. ( )
  4bonasa | May 4, 2013 |
Babelia's Book of the Year (2012)
  beabatllori | Apr 2, 2013 |
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. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
"Not only academics and fans of Judt, but also those who enjoy the New York Review of Books and The New Yorker will flock to read it. Highly recommended."
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, David Keymer (Nov 1, 2011)
 

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Offers a narrative of the United States' intellectual history of the past one hundred years by discussing the ideas and thinkers that helped shape the century.

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