In Reappraisals award-winning historian Tony Judt argues that we have entered an 'age of forgetting', where we have set aside our immediate past before we could even begin to make sense of it. We have lost touch with generations of international policy debate, social thought and public-spirited social activism - and no longer even know how to discuss such concepts - and have forgotten the role once played by intellectuals in debating, transmitting and defending the ideas that shaped their time.
Reappraisals is a road map back to the historical sense we urgently need. A masterful collection of essays, it examines the tragedy of twentieth-century Europe by way of thought-provoking pieces on Hannah Arendt, Edward Said, Albert Camus and Henry Kissinger amongst others.
In Reappraisals the British-born historian, now a university professor in New York, collects 23 essays, written between 1994 and 2006, in which he undertakes a ruthless dissection of the ruling illusions of the post-cold war years...There are illuminating assessments of Primo Levi and Hannah Arendt, a superb deconstruction of the fall of France in 1940, explorations of Belgium's fractured statehood and the ambiguous position of Romania in Europe, analyses of the Cuba crisis and Kissinger's diplomacy, and much else besides...Judt is a liberal thinker dedicated to demystifying liberal illusions. Reappraisals is an indispensable tract for the times by one of the great political writers of the age
Judt is a highly readable authority... He delivers the intellectual's equivalent of a left hook...the uppercut soon follows...and finally, a knockout punch...The intellectual's intellectual
Tony Judt...has an enviable grasp of European cultural history and a sharp and sometimes savage turn of phrase, both of which are well displayed in this collection of long essays and book reviews...[He is] shrewd and revealing...you feel you have been eavesdropping on a sparkling conversation
An exhilarating new collection of essays...In Reappraisals he looks back at the tragedy of Europe in the 20th century - although one should really say the four decades from the outbreak of World War I until the death of Stalin - and in particular at the Jewish tragedy. Judt writes informatively about Manès Sperber, tenderly about Primo Levi, enthusiastically about Hannah Arendt... Few are better than Tony Judt, not only a historian of the first rank but (in a word we need an equivalent for) a politicologue who gives engagement a good name
A superb collection of essays