Tony Judt on the twentieth century

Thinking the Twentieth Century

by Tony Judt, with Timothy Snyder

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.

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Neal Blewett

Neal Blewett

Neal Blewett has had a varied career as academic, politician, and diplomat. A Tasmanian Rhodes scholar, he taught successively at the Universities of Oxford and Adelaide and became Professor of Political Theory and Institutions at Flinders University. He has written books and articles on British and Australian history and politics. As Health Minister in the Hawke government he was responsible for the introduction of Medicare and Australia’s Aids policy. His diary of the Keating government was published in 1999. From 1994 to 1998 he was Australian High Commissioner in London as well as a member of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. He now writes, gardens, and walks in the Blue Mountains.

Published in June 2012 no. 342

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