Thinking the Twentieth Century
William Heinemann, $59.95 hb, 432 pp, 9780434017423
This author, this book, and its composition are all extraordinary. Tony Judt, one of the most distinguished historians of his generation, made his name with studies of French intellectual history, then in 2005 he published his masterwork, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. For me this is the finest historical study written this century. Empirically grounded, with a respect for facts, but constantly interrogating those facts, aware of the doctrines and ideologies whereby men and women interpret their world, the whole is suffused with a moral sensibility.