whose theories are worth less than "the most obscure theological speculation, which usually. In their different ways, these ex-communists demonstrated a kind of integrity that has been noticeably absent in the paragons of the intellectual left. Tony Judt has always been a dissenter from this consensus. You feel you have been eavesdropping on a sparkling conversation" (. When he takes seriously a one-state solution for the Palestine/Israel conflict, or suggests looking to Europe for a 21st-century model of the good society, he is as remote from historically realisable possibilities as the writers he criticises. For this updated edition of her acclaimed work on historians and the writing of history, Gertrude Himmelfarb adds four insightful and provocative essays dealing with changes in the discipline over the past twenty years. In contrast, Judt praises Arthur Koestler as "the exemplary intellectual" whose courageous nonconformity "has assured him his place in history". These " tough "muscular" liberals have collaborated with neocons in injecting into the centre of politics a type of thinking inherited from the old left, he suggests. These are severe judgments, but they are not unjust. Even when he is wrong, however, Judt writes with fearless integrity and moral seriousness.
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Judt entitles the essay in which he takes American liberals to task "The Silence of the Lambs: On the Strange Death of Liberal America". Stephanie rated it it was ok, this was so difficult to read. It is to show the chronic unreality of post-cold war thinking, and here his target is as much the American liberal mainstream as neoconservative intellectuals. Reappraisals is a devastating critique of intellectual life over the past two decades, and it is mostly icons of the left that are smashed. Backed by America's seemingly invincible military might and the superior productivity of western economies, the world had entered a new epoch of peace and democracy. This breadth of reference may seem to militate against continuous argument, but in fact these articles and reviews pursue a single overarching theme. International Herald Tribune ) "A superb collection of essays" (. If his tone is sharp it is because, despite everything, he writes as one of these intellectuals. The job of countering pro-war disinformation was left to investigative journalists such as Seymour Hersh and Michael Massing, writing in the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. A book of essays originally published over a period of 12 years may seem an unlikely place to find a systematic analysis of the follies of an era, and it is true that the pieces gathered here cover a remarkable range of writers and themes. Like Raymond Aron, the subtle and relentless French polemicist whose spirit breathes through these pages, Judt is a liberal thinker dedicated to demystifying liberal illusions.
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