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Thinking the Twentieth Century

Thinking the Twentieth Century

Hardback William Heinemann

By (author) Tony Judt, By (author) Timothy Snyder

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Paperback $14.49
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 236mm x 42mm | 699g
  • Publication date: 2 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0434017426
  • ISBN 13: 9780434017423
  • Sales rank: 138,199

Product description

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 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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Author information

Tony Judt was educated at King's College, Cambridge, and the Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, and taught at Cambridge, Oxford and Berkeley. He was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of European Studies at New York University, as well as the founder and director of the Remarque Institute, dedicated to creating an ongoing conversation between Europe and America. The author or editor of fourteen books, Professor Judt was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, The New York Times and many journals across Europe and the United States. Professor Judt is the author of The Memory Chalet, Ill Fares the Land, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century and Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, which was one of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of 2005, the winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He died in August 2010 at the age of sixty-two. Timothy Snyder studied at Brown and Oxford, held fellowships in Paris, Warsaw and Vienna and at Harvard, and is a professor of history at Yale. He is the author of five award-winning books of European history; the most recent of which, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, was named a book of the year by more than ten publications and is being translated into more than twenty languages.

Back cover copy

'A magnificent achievement in intellectual history, Thinking the Twentieth Century is also the true last testament of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers on politics.' John Gray

Flap copy

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 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.