Marci Shore on students and intellectuals who have embraced the writings of Tony Judt in the wake of the Maidan protests and the Ukrainian Revolution.
Tony Robert Judt, FBA was a British historian, essayist, and university professor who specialized in European history. Judt moved to New York and served as 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.
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; in addition to Director of the Remarque Institute, which is dedicated to the study of Europe and which he founded in 1995.
Tony Judt died, surrounded by his family, on the the evening of August 6th, 2010. The New York Times obituary can be read here.This is the full transcript of Peter Jukes’s interview with Tony Judt—conducted earlier this year via email, due to the progress of Judt’s motor neurone disease.
Tony Judt was born in 1948, three years after Allied brigades liberated the last of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. “I cannot recall a time when I did not know about what was not yet called the Holocaust,” narrates Judt in Thinking the Twentieth Century, a posthumously published dialogue with Timothy Snyder and the most expansive public record to date of Judt’s own biography.
In some respects, Tony Judt ought to be the right man for the job of writing a history of Europe since 1945. His own life mirrors precisely the postwar period: born in 1948, he grew up in 1950’s London, a world of “high-collared, Edwardian-era reformism” from which he retrospectively recoils, though in fact no generation in modern times enjoyed greater security or prosperity.
On August 6 2010 Tony Judt passed away at 62 due to the complications of the neuro-muscular disease ALS. Judt was a historian specializing in post-war Europe. But above all he was a great thinker about the political landscape we inhabit. His last will was the lecture 'What is Living and What is Dead in Social Democracy', in the fall of 2009 in New York.
Tony Judt was born in Hackney, London to parents who had fled eastern Europe. The family was secular but with a strong political and cultural affiliation to Judaism. Judt was a passionate left-wing Zionist until he travelled to Israel in 1967 and became disillusioned by Israel’s nationalism and anti-Arab stance.