"When the facts change, I change my mind--what do you do, sir?"
A great thinker’s final testament: a characteristically wise and forthright collection of essays spanning a career of extraordinary intellectual engagement
In an age in which there has been an erosion of fact-based journalism and the lack of independent public intellectuals has often been sorely lamented, Tony Judt played a rare and valuable role, bringing together history and current events, Europe and America, the world as it was and as it is with what it should be. In When the Facts Change, Tony Judt’s widow and fellow historian Jennifer Homans has assembled an essential collection of Judt’s most important and influential pieces written in the last fifteen years of his life, when he found his voice in the public sphere. These seminal essays reflect the full range of Judt’s concerns, including Europe as an idea and in reality; Israel, the Holocaust, and the Jews; American hyperpower and the world after 9/11; and issues of social inclusion and social justice in a time of increasing inequality.
Judt believed his real job was not to say what wasn't but to say what was--to tell a convincing, clear story from available evidence, and to do it with a view of what was right and what was just. This was not only a duty, but a moral responsiblity for Judt and When the Facts Change is a testament to his legacy.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Jennifer Homans is the author of Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet. She lives in New York City.
Read an Excerpt
The only way for me to write this introduction is to separate the man from the ideas. Otherwise, I get pulled back into the man, who I loved and was married to from 1993 until his death in 2010, rather than forward into the ideas. As you read these essays, I hope that you, too, will focus on the ideas, because they are good ideas, and they were written in good faith. “In good faith” may have been Tony’s favorite phrase and highest standard, and he held himself to it in everything he wrote. What he meant by it, I think, was writing that is free of calculation and maneuver, intellectual or otherwise. A clean, clear, honest account.
This is a book about our age. The arc is down: from the heights of hope and possibility, with the revolutions of 1989, into the confusion, devastation, and loss of 9/11, the Iraq war, the deepening crisis in the Middle East, and—as Tony saw it—the self-defeating decline of the American republic. As the facts changed and events unfolded, Tony found himself turned increasingly and unhappily against the current, fighting with all of his intellectual might to turn the ship of ideas, however slightly, in a different direction. The story ends abruptly, with his untimely death.
Excerpted from "When the Facts Change"
Copyright © 2016 Tony Judt.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: In Good Faith 1
Part 1 1989: Our Age
Chapter I Downhill All the Way 13
Chapter II Europe: The Grand Illusion 30
Chapter III Crimes and Misdemeanors 47
Chapter IV Why the Cold War Worked 65
Chapter V Freedom and Freedonia 85
Part 2 Israel, the Holocaust, and the Jews
Chapter VI The Road to Nowhere 107
Chapter VII Israel: The Alternative 115
Chapter VIII A Lobby, Not a Conspiracy 124
Chapter IX The "Problem of Evil" in Postwar Europe 129
Chapter X Fictions on the Ground 142
Chapter XI Israel Must Unpick Its Ethnic Myth 147
Chapter XII Israel Without Clichés 151
Chapter XIII What Is to Be Done? 156
Part 3 9/11 and the New World Order
Chapter XIV On The Plague 171
Chapter XV Its Own Worst Enemy 183
Chapter XVI The Way We Live Now 202
Chapter XVII Anti-Americans Abroad 215
Chapter XVIII The New World Order 234
Chapter XIX Is the UN Doomed? 252
Chapter XX What Have We Learned, if Anything? 269
Part 4 The Way We Live Now
Chapter XXI The Glory of the Rails 285
Chapter XXII Bring Back the Rails! 294
Chapter XXIII The Wrecking Ball of Innovation 303
Chapter XXIV What Is Living and What Is Dead in Social Democracy? 319
Chapter xxv Generations in the Balance 339
Part 5 In the Long Run We Are All Dead
Chapter XXVI Francois Furet (1927-1997) 347
Chapter XXVII Amos Elon (1926-2009) 355
Chapter XXVIII Leszek Kolakowski (1927-2009) 360
Chronological List of Tony Judt's Published Essays and Criticism 367