"Ideas crackle" in this triumphant final book of Tony Judt, taking readers on "a wild ride through the ideological currents and shoals of 20th century thought.” (Los Angeles Times)
One of our most brilliant historians, Tony Judt brings the past century vividly to life in this unprecedented and original history. Structured as a series of intimate conversations between Judt and his friend and fellow historian Timothy Snyder, Thinking the Twentieth Century presents the triumphs and the failures of the twentieth century's most prominent intellectuals and their ideas, guiding readers through the debates that defined our world. Spanning an era with unprecedented clarity and insight, Thinking the Twentieth Century is a tour de force: a masterful analysis of the life of the mind and an unforgettable guide to leading the mindful life.
About the Author
Tony Judt (1948–2010) was the author or editor of fifteen books, including The Memory Chalet and Postwar, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He was the director and founder of the Remarque Institute and a professor at New York University.
Timothy Snyder is a professor of history at Yale University and the author of five award-winning books, most recently Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
"There are so many ways that Thinking the Twentieth Century is a remarkable book. The lifetime of scholarship and intellectual engagement lying behind that verb "thinking" in the title. The way ideas crackle in the interplay between the authors. The passionate involvement with issues political and controversial. That the book could have been written at all, given the tragic circumstances surrounding it... Judt proceeds to take the reader on a wild ride through the ideological currents and shoals of 20th century thought."
—The Los Angeles Times — THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
“An intellectual feast, learned, lucid, challenging and accessible.”
—San Francisco Chronicle — SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
“Fans will find plenty to sustain them in this poignant coda to a life marked by great feats of penmanship, scholarly insight and contemporary polemic… [Judt’s] bravery is ever-present, but rightly understated. As Mr Snyder notes in his introduction, the book is both about the life of the mind and a mindful life. Judt exemplified both.”
—The Economist — THE ECONOMIST
“Judt was a provocateur, but maybe an accidental one, and after reading this remarkable, impassioned book, it's hard to doubt his sincerity… Thinking the Twentieth Century is Judt's final salvo against what he saw as a culture of historical ignorance and political apathy, and it's every bit as brilliant, uncompromising and original as he was.”
—NPR — NPR.org
“Incandescent on every page with intellectual energy.”
—Pankaj Mishra, Prospect Magazine (UK) — Pankaj Mishra, PROSPECT MAGAZINE (UK)
"Scintillating... a lively, browsable, deeply satisfying meditation on recent history by a deservedly celebrated public intellectual."
—Publisher's Weekly (starred review) — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)