Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century

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Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century

By Tony Judt
Penguin Press, 2008
464 pp. $29.95
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Judt made his name during the 1990s writing about left-wing European intellectuals with a penchant for provocation. Now, he has himself become a prominent example of the genre. Reappraisals is a collection of Judt's essays over the past decade, many from , with topics ranging from a defense of the European social model to a discussion of the meaning of Belgium, by way of some revisionist Cold War history, strong criticism of U.S. foreign policy, and calls for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. Common themes running through this diverse volume are skepticism, if not hostility, toward the way power is wielded, especially by the United States, and sympathy for European-style social democracy over American individualism. Judt so mercilessly savages the objects of his ire that it sometimes feels as if the intellectual combat is itself the goal, but his style, intelligence, and courage cannot be denied.