Thinking the Twentieth Century

Tony Judt Timothy Snyder

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Thinking the Twentieth Century

Thinking the Twentieth Century 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 narrative The tw

  • Title: Thinking the Twentieth Century
  • Author: Tony Judt Timothy Snyder
  • ISBN: 9780434017423
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 narrative.The 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 anThe 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 narrative.The 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 thinkers.The 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 now.In 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.

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      Published :2019-01-16T03:46:59+00:00

    One thought on “Thinking the Twentieth Century

    1. Szplug on said:

      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 b [...]

    2. AC on said:

      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 i [...]

    3. Jonfaith on said:

      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 [...]

    4. Hadrian on said:

      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 [...]

    5. Buck on said:

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

    6. Justin Evans on said:

      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 repeated [...]

    7. Caroline on said:

      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 un [...]

    8. Marks54 on said:

      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 more 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 t [...]

    9. Joe Noteboom on said:

      Really interesting, full of ideas. To be sure, many of them probably went over my head. It seemed to be a pretty good survey of 20th century Europe from an intellectual perspective. I found the ongoing fascism/communism discussion to be the most valuable part of the book. Maybe for the first time, it really brought home for me the utter lack of attention paid to fascism as an ideology that was really attractive to a lot of smart people for a good chunk of time. As we grow up learning about the 2 [...]

    10. Will on said:

      It is another brilliant work -and very moving because it is his last - it takes the form of conversations with his friend Timothy Snyder because of course he was almost totally paralysed by that time. It's about the state of the world, Europe, the jews, islam. If "ill fares the land" was written for the young who hadn’t previously given the state of the world much thought, (Judt’s words, not mine) then this book is for the rest of us. But more than that, it is as close as we will ever get no [...]

    11. Vít Kotačka on said:

      Tohle mohla být fantastická kniha! Obrovskou zásluhu, že tahle kniha vůbec vznikla máTimothy Snyder, jinak autor opusuKrvavé země. Bohužel, on je také původcem mého rozčarování. Ale než se k tomuto bodu dostanu, musím napsat něco ke kontexu, v kterém kniha vynikla. Tony Judt byl historik a intelektuál světového formátu. Až teprve po přečtení téhle knihy jsem si uvědomil, že i v téhle oblasti jsou lidé podobných kvalit a významu jako třeba Albert Einstein ve fyz [...]

    12. Ben Dutton on said:

      The economic, political and social questions of how to form, run and maintain a culture are never going to go away. They were important questions two hundred years ago, and they are important questions today. Today they seem even more relevant: faced with a western economy that has still not recovered from a massive crash in 2008, and show no true signs of recovery, and where major wars are still being fought to bring this abstract concept of democracy to lands we feel need them.Historian Tony J [...]

    13. Les on said:

      Very hard to follow the first 2/3 of this book, unless you're a history buff I am not.However, the last 1/3 of this book is incredible.It portrays the 20th Century through the mind of an intellectual who actually experienced it.I now respect this man Tony Judt. Although, prior to this book I had never heard or read anything about him.Interesting take-aways:- We often take the notion that 'those in charge know best'. If we ever do question their stance, people say how could a commoner know better [...]

    14. Lysergius on said:

      Absolutely superb conversation between two of the leading historians of our age. Impossible to put down, every page sparkling with wit, insight and serious erudition.

    15. Tuck on said:

      synder and judt in conversation about world history and polisci in 20th and 21st century.

    16. Filip Struhárik on said:

      Veľmi dobré čítanie. Ale určite by som si mal knihu prečítať znova o pár rokov, keď vyrastiem a budem múdrejší.

    17. Craig Werner on said:

      For readers who don't have a clear sense of the major political and economic cross-currents that shaped 20th century Europe and in a slightly less diredt way America, this is an excellent place to start. A set of extended conversations between European historians Timothy Snyder (best known for Bloodlands) and Tony Judt, who was living with ALS and could no longer write on his own, the book tracks the long and convoluted evolution of 19th century liberalism through socialism, communism (in its au [...]

    18. Mauberley on said:

      This wouldn't be the best book for someone who has never read Tony Judt before but for anyone acquainted with any of the great man's work, it is a splendid compliment to whatever you have read. Judt was dying as he wrote this and the result is a magnificent summation of the outlines of his personal life and the depth and breadth of his intellectual interests. Judt had a great gift in that he could make you interested in anything thing that he had to say. His clear and thoughtful prose perfectly [...]

    19. H Wesselius on said:

      A brilliant assessment of a liberal historian's career and thoughts. Tony Judt recently dies of ALS or Lou Gehrig's and spent several afternoons conversing with Timothy Snyder on his life and career. A picture emerges of a brilliant liberal minded historian and his views on history, government, society and the individual. The last chapter; the Banality of Good: Social Democrat, is not to be missed as he assess the modern post-89 world and constructs a view of opposing visions; fear vs collective [...]

    20. Rob on said:

      What do you say if you nearly agree with everything in a book? Tony Judt was a Social Democrat and probably one on the left. He flirted and indeed studied the European strains of Marxism and ultimately found it wanting. This book is a sort of intellectual biography of Tony Judt. It is also a historical examination of the ideas that drove the 20th century. An excellent book but one perhaps that is not for young players.Always intelligent and insightful but also there is a superb explanation of ma [...]

    21. Greg on said:

      Solid intellectual history of 20th and early 21st century, told through the lens of the life of historian and oped writer, Tony Judt. Judt's journey and views are explored in a series of conversations between him and historian Timothy Snyder. Judt, who recently died, had ALS, so the collaboration with Snyder was one of the few ways that he could physically write this book.Judt's political views are more European than mine, so I disagree with him at times (often?). Still a really smart guy with w [...]

    22. Judith on said:

      Still reading and learning, many new concepts, ideas, questioning previous ideas, seeing things in new ways.An excellent book; I learned a lot.

    23. Luis on said:

      An occasionally interesting and entertaining read, though like "Postwar", breaks down the closer it gets to the current day. Can't say I particularly recommend it, though - as the author basically admits in the postscript, he's not a particularly self-reflective person, and it shows through in many places here.

    24. Harpal on said:

      Tony Judt's final book is an extended conversation piece that is part autobiography and part history. Its title, an homage to the venerable Francois Furet's seminal work "Penser la Revolution Francaise", gives one an idea of its scope and aim. Sadly, it fails to live up to its own great expectations. The unusual format, introductory monologues by Judt about his life followed by questions and answers with co-author Timothy Snyder, is a refreshing change of pace but also makes the book hard to jud [...]

    25. Zak on said:

      For those with an interest in recent European history, in particular how ideas shaped that history, this conversation between the historians Timothy Snyder and the late Tony Judt is just magnificent. This book was part autobiography as Tony Jott had never written one and was sadly dying of ALS when the book was being created I listened to this as an audiobook read by the Englishman Ralph Cosham, who does a fine job with the material though I have to quibble with the editorial decision--presumabl [...]

    26. Patrick on said:

      review:Here is the final book of unparalleled historian Tony Judt. Where Judt’s masterpiece Postwar redefined the history of modern Europe by uniting the stories of its eastern and western halves, Thinking the Twentieth Century unites the century’s conflicted intellectual history into a single soaring narrative. The 20th century comes to life as the age of ideas - a time when, for good or for ill, the thoughts of the few reigned over the lives of the many. Judt presents the triumphs and the [...]

    27. Kåre on said:

      Ideen er at få en mere direkte, interviewagtig historiebog om det tyvende århundrede. Der er en del om Judts personlige historie, som kontekstualiserer det øvrige. Og der er en slags samtale mellem Judt og Snyder. Resultatet er, at mange ting bliver lidt indforstået, og at mange sandheder/pointer kommer skarpt frem. Resultatet er også, at jeg har svært ved at følge argumenterne - de bliver ofte løsrevede, ikke gennemførte - og svært ved at tro ret meget på de "indsigter" jeg også men [...]

    28. Judy on said:

      I was moved to begin reading this after I read an essay about the author written by his wife after his death from ALS at the age of 62. The book is a compilation/transcription of a series of conversations between the author and Timothy Snyder, each prominent historians, but of different generations. I consider it one of the top 5 books I've read this year. A challenging book to read if you're European history-challenged, like myself, but I could follow the line of reasoning and argument despite [...]

    29. Ruud Meij on said:

      No doubt about it. It's a wonderful book. Tony Judt and Timothy Snyder put the 20th century again on the intellectual agenda. The title is very precise in what this century deserves and needs: thinking. Judt's personal history is rather an unique exemplar of the 20th century. As a Jew with his ancestors in Central Europe, born in London and learning and teaching in England, France, The United States, Vienna and on Judt creates for himself an extra ordinary outlook on Europe. The part the book wh [...]

    30. El on said:

      I give very few books 5 stars. This book united the historical, political, economic and intellectual threads of the late 19th through early 21st centuries into a seamless garment. There are issues of structure (well documented elsewhere) but I do not believe one person could write this book without this kind of pushback from another well-versed intellectual. I became aware of Judt through the NYRB and his fearless criticism of both the left and right--and more importantly, his reasons behind the [...]

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