Thinking the Twentieth Century, By Tony Judt, with Timothy Snyder
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 22 February 2013
Before his death, the great historian of modern Europe worked on this set of conversations with an almost equally far-sighted colleague.
The result ranks not just as a memorial but a breathtakingly broad overview of Europe's past and present. Judt also supplies riveting snatches of memoir: as a Jewish outsider in south London, Cambridge whizz-kid, Parisian radical and New York intellectual gadfly.
In spite of some longueurs (mostly on parochial academic or Manhattan quarrels), this book is an absolute treasure – and an education in itself.
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