Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Still Life: A short film about Tony Judt
"To tell what is almost always an uncomfortable story and explain why the discomfort is part of the truth we need to live well and live properly. A well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves." - Tony Judt
Tony Robert Judt FBA (2 January 1948 – 6 August 2010) was a British historian, author and university professor. He specialized in European history and was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor in European Studies at New York University and Director of NYU's Erich Maria Remarque Institute. He was a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2007 a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.
Starting as an impassioned left-wing Zionist, he dropped his faith in Marxism early on and became, in his words, "a universalist social democrat". After a period of admiration for the collectivism of Israeli kibbutzim, he would become critical of Israeli policy and its lack of tolerance. He displayed a profound suspicion of left wing ideologies, of identity politics, and of the American role as the world's sole superpower