When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010



[Reading] ➸ When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010 By Tony Judt – E17streets4all.co.uk The previously uncollected essays of one of the intellectual giants of our age and author of Postwar and Thinking the Twentieth Century Tony Judt s first collection of essays, Reappraisals, was centre The previously uncollected Facts Change: PDF Î essays of one of the intellectual giants of our age and When the Epub / author of Postwar and Thinking the Twentieth Century Tony Judt s first collection of essays, the Facts Change: MOBI ð Reappraisals, was centred on twentieth century Europe in history and memory Some of Judt s most prominent and indeed controversial essays felt outside of the scope of Reappraisals, most notably his writings on the state of Israel and its relationship to Palestine There would be time, it was thought, to fit these essays into a larger frame Sadly, this would not be the case, at least during the author s own lifeNow, in When the Facts Change, Tony Judt s widow and fellow historian, Jennifer Homans, has found the frame, gathering together important essays from the span of Judt s career that chronicle both the evolution of his thought and the remarkable consistency of his passionate engagement and intellectual lan Whether the subject is the scholarly poverty of the new social history, the willful blindness of French collective memory about what happened to the country s Jews during World War II, or the moral challenge to Israel of the so called Palestinian problem, the majesty of Tony Judt s work lies in his combination of unsparing honesty, intellectual brilliance, and ethical clarity When the Facts Change exemplifies the utility, indeed the necessity, of minding our history and not letting cheerful fictions suffice in its place An emphatic demonstration of the power of a great historian to connect us deeply to the world as it was, as it is, and as it should be, it is a fitting capstone to an extraordinary body of work.When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010

Born in , Facts Change: PDF Î Tony Judt was raised in the East End of London by When the Epub / a mother whose parents had immigrated from Russia and a Belgian father who descended from the Facts Change: MOBI ð a line of Lithuanian rabbis Judt was educated at Emanuel School, before receiving a BA and PhD in history from the University of CambridgeLike many other Jewish parents living in postwar Europe, his mother and father were secular, but they sent him to Hebrew school and steeped him in the Yiddish culture of his grandparents, which Judt says he still thinks of wistfully Urged on by his parents, Judt enthusiastically waded into the world of Israeli politics at age He helped promote the migration of British Jews to Israel In , having won an exhibition to King s College Cambridge, he took a gap year and went to work on kibbutz Machanaim When Nasser expelled UN troops from Sinai in , and Israel mobilized for war, like many European Jews, he volunteered to replace kibbutz members who had been called up During and in the aftermath of the Six Day War, he worked as a driver and translator for the Israel Defense ForcesBut during the aftermath of the war, Judt s belief in the Zionist enterprise began to unravel I went with this idealistic fantasy of creating a socialist, communitarian country through work, Judt has said The problem, he began to believe, was that this view was remarkably unconscious of the people who had been kicked out of the country and were suffering in refugee camps to make this fantasy possible Career King s College, Cambridge, England, fellow, University of California at Berkeley, assistant professor, St Anne s College, Oxford University, Oxford, England, fellow, New York University, New York, NY, professor of history, , director of Remarque Institute, Awards American Council of Learned Societies, fellow, British Academy Award for Research, Nuffield Foundation fellow, Guggenheim fellow, Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction finalist, , for Postwar A History of Europe since .

When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010 ePUB ß the
    When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010 ePUB ß the most prominent and indeed controversial essays felt outside of the scope of Reappraisals, most notably his writings on the state of Israel and its relationship to Palestine There would be time, it was thought, to fit these essays into a larger frame Sadly, this would not be the case, at least during the author s own lifeNow, in When the Facts Change, Tony Judt s widow and fellow historian, Jennifer Homans, has found the frame, gathering together important essays from the span of Judt s career that chronicle both the evolution of his thought and the remarkable consistency of his passionate engagement and intellectual lan Whether the subject is the scholarly poverty of the new social history, the willful blindness of French collective memory about what happened to the country s Jews during World War II, or the moral challenge to Israel of the so called Palestinian problem, the majesty of Tony Judt s work lies in his combination of unsparing honesty, intellectual brilliance, and ethical clarity When the Facts Change exemplifies the utility, indeed the necessity, of minding our history and not letting cheerful fictions suffice in its place An emphatic demonstration of the power of a great historian to connect us deeply to the world as it was, as it is, and as it should be, it is a fitting capstone to an extraordinary body of work."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 400 pages
  • When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010
  • Tony Judt
  • English
  • 25 July 2017
  • 0434023086

10 thoughts on “When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010

  1. says:

    Every time I read his essays and book reviews, I mourn the loss of Tony Judt This volume contains around 30 essays comprising book reviews, commemorative essays, and even some drafts of a proposed book about trains They cover topics ranging from the Iraq War to the future of the welfare state to the dangers of over reliance on economic ideologies in politics to a bunch of other topics These essays are short, well written, and highly literate Judt was widely read in topics that most of us wil Every time I read his essays and book reviews, I mourn the loss of Tony Judt This volume contains around 30 essays comprising book reviews, commemorative essays, and even some drafts of a proposed book about trains They cover topics ranging from the Iraq War to the future of the welfare state to the dangers of over reliance on economic ideologies in politics to a bunch of other topics These essays are short, well written, and highly literate Judt was widely read in topics that most of us will never go into deeply Eastern European intellectual history, for example He is deeply intellectual and critical His book reviews take apart the works of major scholars with a thoroughness that makes me envious Look at the review of Norman Davies book on Europe as an example.The title of the book comes from Judt s fondness for the quote attributed to Keynes that When the facts change, I change my thinking What do you do sir These essays show how his thought adapts to the change in the world after 1989 and up through the post 9 11 era.Judt s essays are also courageous His is not afraid to debunk established truths and draw conclusions that are nearly obvious but not politically correct These are honest essays with little posturing.What I like best about this work, is what I have liked about Judt since reading his Postwar He brings well developed perspectives to topics that are European rather than American He is not afraid to challenge American intellectual complacency and laziness on such topics as the welfare state, Israel and Zionism, and American foreign policy under Bush and following 9 11 These pieces help me to remember what intellectual history is all about I really hope that his wife and his editors are able to findof his papers to publish

  2. says:

    I have read and admired Tony Judt for at least 20 years, largely in the pages of The New York Review of Books, where many of these essays were first published They now appear in this superlative, sadly posthumous collection, edited and with a moving introduction by his wife, Jennifer Homans Judt died of ALS in 2010, heroically writing up to the end of his life I find it fascinating to compare Judt with another British born Jewish scholar and historian of Europe, also educated at Cambridge, S I have read and admired Tony Judt for at least 20 years, largely in the pages of The New York Review of Books, where many of these essays were first published They now appear in this superlative, sadly posthumous collection, edited and with a moving introduction by his wife, Jennifer Homans Judt died of ALS in 2010, heroically writing up to the end of his life I find it fascinating to compare Judt with another British born Jewish scholar and historian of Europe, also educated at Cambridge, Simon Schama I m reading his 2010 essay collection, Scribble, Scribble, Scribble Since they are the same generation, Judt and Schama must have been acutely aware of each other, but I find little evidence that they met very often, much less became friends Perhaps it s just as well they are very different personalities, each with a brilliance and erudition that the other may have experienced as a succession of sharp elbows.Judt can be an entertaining writer, but it is the rigor and clarity of his arguments that strikes a reader like me so forcefully Homans reveals one of his secrets in her introduction deep reading no surprise supplemented by an elaborate system of note taking and outlining Judt writes on many topics here his love of railroads, for instance but he doesn t range as far afield as Schama in his topics Judt is always disciplined in his focus and penetrating analysis, Schamasprawling and ecumenical.The only drawback to Judt s collection is its timing Many of these essays on foreign policy and the contrasts between Europe and America a perennial subject were written in the early 2000s, when the Bush administration squandered the world s goodwill following 9 11 with its harsh unilateralism and the disastrous Iraq war Judt s responses here arein sorrow than anger, but he is utterly ruthless in his dissection of America s failures and delusions as he is of Israel s and Europe s too, for that matter.As a result, I found most enjoyable the essays not explicitly linked to contemporary events One is on Albert Camus, perhaps Judt s greatest hero and it shows The essay concerns Camus s 1947 novel, The Plague, less celebrated than The Stranger perhaps, but a greater book in Judt s view On one level, The Plague is a loose allegory of Vichy France and the accommodations that people must make in the face of evil But it is also a profound meditation on the absurdity of the human condition that implicitly rejects the callous political classifications of right and left that so preoccupied his contemporaries such as Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir Indeed, Camus was heavily criticized for not being political enough in this and other works, leading to his break with much of the French intellectual world, still in thrall to the dream of Marxism.In many ways, the heart of the book is the commentaries on Israel, which proved remarkably controversial when first published Judt, after all, was not merely Jewish, but for a brief period in his youth, a kibbutznick and committed Zionist But in his later years, Judt became an unsparing and often despairing critic of Israel s occupation of the West Bank and its turn toward hard line orthodoxy His intellectual and political struggles are on display here a proposal to consider a binational state followed by a later essay conceding that a two state solution is the only feasible road for Israelis and Palestinians Otherwise, he says bluntly, the continued occupation will remain the chief proximate cause of the resurgence of anti Semitism worldwide Judt s other great theme here is the loss of communal responsibility and a skepticism about the importance of the public sphere, exemplified in the rise of politicians like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan The collective abandonment of the institutions and values built so painfully by social democracies over generations amounts to an irreparable loss, he argues, one that leaves isolated individuals facing the uncaring power of modern corporate capitalism This is especially the case in the United States, with its emphasis on hyper individualism, unchecked free markets, and demonization of government.Judt is the quintessential anti ideologue, someone who rejects an uncritical faith in any formal political or economic system If we have learned nothing else from the twentieth century, he writes, we should have at least grasped that theperfect the answer, theterrifying the consequences

  3. says:

    This forthcoming, posthumous collection of essays from historian Tony Judt encapsulates his breath of knowledge, including European history and current affairs, Zionism and the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and the Iraq War, though he veers off track with his social democratic criticism of the United States economy The essays include a few obits and several of his reviews from the New York Review of Books, all of which I enjoyed.He says, Trains are about moving people In the United States, t This forthcoming, posthumous collection of essays from historian Tony Judt encapsulates his breath of knowledge, including European history and current affairs, Zionism and the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and the Iraq War, though he veers off track with his social democratic criticism of the United States economy The essays include a few obits and several of his reviews from the New York Review of Books, all of which I enjoyed.He says, Trains are about moving people In the United States, trains actually are primarily about moving goods His overlooking freight reflects that his essay is focused on decrying the loss of the communal experience of passenger rail after the rise of the motor car To me, the rise of the automobile reflects millions of individuals personal preferences for convenience and who am I to judge them Judt, though, uses the popular canard that highways are subsidized, giving them an unfair advantage Yet, not only did many railroads receive land grant subsidies and mass transit is heavily subsidized, but US highways are mostly funded by user fees fuel taxes and user tolls A significant proportion car drivers gas taxes are used to subsidize mass transit Judt states the US railroad industry was effectively nationalized in the 1970 s That is very incorrect Passenger rail was effectively nationalized via Amtrak and a handful of bankrupt freight carriers were nationalized as Conrail The larger rail companies survived as private companies.He questions the logic of the suburb because of high oil costs As I write this, gasoline is back down to 2 per gallon, powered by new exploration technologies deep sea fracking andefficient cars The growth trajectory of electric and hybrid cars may, at least partly, decouple suburban transportation from oil.On economics, Judt didn t like Thatcherism or the Reagan Clinton years, stating, regulatory structures set in place over the course of a century orwere dismantled within a few years In several places he implies regulation simply vanished That was not the case In the 1980s and 1990s in the USA, the rate of growth in regulation slowed, which is shown in the link For example, in the last year of the Carter presidency, 1980, 7,745 final rule documents were published in the federal Register and the number of new final rules dropped to 4,581 by 1987 Judt mistook Thatcher Reagan era rhetoric for reality Reagan promised to eliminate cabinet positions but ended up adding a few The Reagan years saw deregulation of certain industries, several of which, railroads and air travel, were very successful What Judt probably refers to is financial regulation, especially in the later part of the Clinton presidency That said, the parts of the financial sector that caused the 2008 financial crash were among the most regulated mortgages at commercial banks He may confuse badly executed regulation with the absence of regulation.I found this work the most disappointing in its sections on social democracy and his criticism of social policy in the USA He was offended by the Clinton welfare reform because means tested charity government programs are notoriously humiliating If so, what is the problem To me, welfare should be a safety net, not a permanent blanket, something that keeps people from starving, provides the unemployed with basic medical care, etc I would hope people would never get comfortable with being on the dole Judt dislikes workfare or even the idea that the able bodied should work He comes from a social democratic tradition that believes people, by their mere existence, have the right to be taken care of by society, whether they want to work or not.Very telling was his criticism of Clinton s reform that people must first have sought and, where applicable, secured employment at whatever wage is on offer, however low the pay and distasteful the work That is an incredible statement if you don t find a job that meets your personal expectations, take welfare instead Judt is silent on those distasteful jobs In his ideal world, no one needs to work as, say, a busser, maid, or farmhand, because of the low pay and distasteful conditions Then, I ask, who will do that work In fact, if he saw the big picture, he would understand what center Left pols like Tony Blair realized, specifically that the best way to achieve a solvent safety net is by carefully managing its costs.Judt also is philosophically opposed to privatization He celebrates big government as such Yet, many Western countries have successfully experimented with privatizing certain services Judt is correct that there are some functions e.g fire and police that simply cannot be privatized, yet, he mentions coal mines and postal delivery is he familiar with FedEx and UPS I think he is far too rigid in ideology here Let municipalities like Chicago , states, and nations experiment and find where privatization makes sense It is not an all or nothing proposition.Even in areas where I disagree with Judt, his writing is clear and each section includes footnotes His foreign policy positions are almost always reasonable His knowledge of history is deep and his perspectives on Israel and Palestine are well considered views that everyone should consider He is Jewish, but opposes Israeli settlements He has interesting things to say about militarism, and rightly points out the United States had a singular experience of low casualties coupled with WWI and WWII success that makes Americansamenable to war than Chinese, Russians, Japanese and Europeans who were devastated by those same wars He points out that, if you ignore the experiences of small wars like Vietnam, the United States has never been defeated Not since the American Civil War has blood been spilled on continental US soil His book reviews, particularly of Camus s The Plague and his blistering attack of Norman Davies s Europe were excellent.This was an Advance Reader Copy won through a GoodReads give away, and I trust the typos will be corrected in the final book published in January 2015

  4. says:

    Could it be A book that is precisely the sum of its parts, neithernor less Facts collects a bunch of book reviews and short essays, mostly written for the usual suspects NYRB Most of them are solid A few are great A few don t really bear re reading The most fun are the straight book reviews, all from before 9 11 and the invasion of Iraq Judt destroys Norman Davies and other writers on Eastern Europe fans of the take down will enjoy that The most relevant are the pieces that lead Could it be A book that is precisely the sum of its parts, neithernor less Facts collects a bunch of book reviews and short essays, mostly written for the usual suspects NYRB Most of them are solid A few are great A few don t really bear re reading The most fun are the straight book reviews, all from before 9 11 and the invasion of Iraq Judt destroys Norman Davies and other writers on Eastern Europe fans of the take down will enjoy that The most relevant are the pieces that lead up to Judt s defense of social democracy, including the pooterish essays on trains, and What is Living and What is Dead in Social Democracy, which is a nice, short version of Ill Fares the Land In between are two sections sure to upset most people Judt s writings on Israel and Palestine are fascinating, and perhaps the only example in this volume of Judt actually changing his mind when the facts change They re also sure to enrage the pro Israel types so common in the U.S., and probably some pro Palestinians as well His writings on the war on terror and the Bush II presidency should upset everyone, because the whole thing was such a waste of breath, and he could have been writing about something else A friend of mine says that the invasion of Iraq might be the only event of our lifetime in which his original, gut level, unjustified moral and intellectual response is identical with his later, hindsight informed, objective moral and intellectual response, and that seems right It was transparently a stupid thing to do, and an immoral thing to do, and spending hundreds of NYRB pages reviewing books saying either that or the opposite was a waste of time Granted, people did need to be making the moral points But reading them now is dreary to say the least The book closes with three eulogies for Furet, Kolakowski, and Amos Elon of whom I d never heard It s nice to end with them, because they re good reminders that Judt wasn t always right Judtor less saints Furet without considering the links between Furet s kind of revisionism and the hyper individualism that is the target of the social democracy essays at least here Judt shows that he, like everyone else, could stay wrapped up in long dead polemic Nice to know he was human

  5. says:

    Today I finished one of thesurprising books for me post mortem collection of Tony Judt s essays When facts change.And it is a fascinating read on international politics in first decade of 21st century spoiler John Bolton was a douche even back there , reflection of 20st century we are doing it wrong and contemporary politics, including conflict between public goods and individualism.And even when he was proven wrong by what happened afterwards quite often, it is still a great re Today I finished one of thesurprising books for me post mortem collection of Tony Judt s essays When facts change.And it is a fascinating read on international politics in first decade of 21st century spoiler John Bolton was a douche even back there , reflection of 20st century we are doing it wrong and contemporary politics, including conflict between public goods and individualism.And even when he was proven wrong by what happened afterwards quite often, it is still a great read And he loved trains Which is good, right

  6. says:

    Tony Judt s last collection of essays, entitled, When the Facts Change, reminds us how much we lost when he died in 2010 Most of these essays were published in the New York Review of Books As a regular reader of that publication forthan 40 years, I had read them all when they first appeared Nonetheless Judt astonished me a second time with his erudition and intellectual versatility.Jennifer Homans, Judt s widow, provides an insightful preface documenting how hard Judt worked on his cont Tony Judt s last collection of essays, entitled, When the Facts Change, reminds us how much we lost when he died in 2010 Most of these essays were published in the New York Review of Books As a regular reader of that publication forthan 40 years, I had read them all when they first appeared Nonetheless Judt astonished me a second time with his erudition and intellectual versatility.Jennifer Homans, Judt s widow, provides an insightful preface documenting how hard Judt worked on his contributions to the NYRB He took extensive notes on everything he read, drafted an outline, and then inserted his notes and additional thoughts in an arduous process of research, planning and drafting I don t know how such well informed essays could be written any other way These pieces flow well, but they are not stream of consciousness they are a stream of conscience, if they are any kind of stream at all.There are a number of very sad observations in this collection, none sadder than those which document Judt s deepening disenchantment with the politics and policies of Israel As a Jew and an historian of Europe, he might have expected better than a state determined to secure itself at a cost betraying its human values and tragic experience Over the years, Judt lost hope even in the prospects of a two state solution as Israel gnawed away at the land Palestinians would need to create a state with their massive settlements and aggressive policies in the West Bank and Jerusalem Six years after Judt s death, things have only gotten worse, a fact somewhat obscured by the collapse and chaos that has beset the rest of the region.Judt was disheartened by George W Bush s negligent support of Israel s intransigence and deeply disappointed by Barack Obama s half hearted efforts to force Israel to call a halt to the settlements and engage in some form of serious peace talks He was eloquent in pointing out that the demographics of Palestine, absent a two state solution, could and can only lead to an apartheid state, with Jews ruling the Palestinians who at some point will outnumber the Jews under their direct or indirect rule Not a good prospect.One of the best essays in this collection focuses on why the U.S has never succumbed to the allure of social democracy The problem, in a nutshell, is twofold Americans are not homogeneous enough to trust and support one another and Americans have permitted the economic paradigm to overshadow the political paradigm We subordinate our political interests to the economy, not vice versa I suspect Judt would have supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary campaign, because this is what Sanders pointed out.There a few odd pieces in this collection that reflect Judt s affection for railroads, not merely aesthetically but politically Along with sociologist Richard Sennett, Judt believed that sharing common spaces across class lines increases a sense of community Sennett s favorite example was the 18th century public house in England Judt s was trains, wherever they might run.In this collection we see Judt predict growing economic inequality in the U.S.,terrorism not a new phenomenon , and a difficult period of slow growth He was right The Trump phenomenon, a backlash built on resentment and fantasy, would not have surprised him European and world history is littered with the political carcasses of authoritarian narcissists the problem is that doing away with Trump as of August 15, 2016, he is pretty well dead in the water will not do away with the problems he has tried to exploit to his own advantage We could use Judt s thoughts on this How are we going to persuade ourselves that politics should define economics, and not the other way around

  7. says:

    Tony Judt is wise, widely read, measured, cosmopolitan, patient, and literary Qualities that made Judt a respectable public intellectual in the previous generation, these characteristics would now make him tiresome to readers of our current moment Social media places a premium on other qualities irony, sass, confidence, sarcasm, and perhaps most of all, cleverness that can produce snappy memes.The death of public intellectuals, as we know them, is due not only to the structural reasons that s Tony Judt is wise, widely read, measured, cosmopolitan, patient, and literary Qualities that made Judt a respectable public intellectual in the previous generation, these characteristics would now make him tiresome to readers of our current moment Social media places a premium on other qualities irony, sass, confidence, sarcasm, and perhaps most of all, cleverness that can produce snappy memes.The death of public intellectuals, as we know them, is due not only to the structural reasons that someone like George Scialabba identifies There are stylistic causes too The essay no longer has much of an audience Social media is the dominant medium, with stylistic constraints of immediacy, speed and brevity It seems that these demanding qualities would foreclose the possibility for would be commentators who would resemble Judt What does a 21st century public intellectual resemble It s not surprising that an old fashioned, wannabe leftist intellectual like myself would be drawn to a writer like Judt His writing is superb and his analysis is clear and persuasive His privileging of the facts make him an attractive resource But who seeks to use such a resource Judt draws his title from a quote by someone who passed away in 1946, the year that my 70 year old father was born Reflecting on the last several presidential campaigns, facts are wholly irrelevant to how people make political judgments After sounding sufficiently out of touch and resentful, allow me to recommend this book For Americans of all stripes still clutching on to myths about the Israeli state and the Palestinian nation, get your facts straight by reading this British Jew who made his home in the U.S This book is for Generation X Americans who lived through the Bush years and were left only with lousy protest T Shirts

  8. says:

    It took me a crashing long time to finish this book, not because it s hard to read, but because it consists of 29 essays, which would be highly punishing to read one after the other without pause.Tony Judt has raised my understanding of modern history i.e late 19th century forward than any other historian directly or fiction non fiction writer indirectly I now have a real feeling for the flow of the times which I didn t have when I was living the part of them post 1947.My only difficulty It took me a crashing long time to finish this book, not because it s hard to read, but because it consists of 29 essays, which would be highly punishing to read one after the other without pause.Tony Judt has raised my understanding of modern history i.e late 19th century forward than any other historian directly or fiction non fiction writer indirectly I now have a real feeling for the flow of the times which I didn t have when I was living the part of them post 1947.My only difficulty with his essays is that I agree with his analyses, but find them very depressing But then these are very depressing times It s unlikely that his recommendations for how to extricate ourselves from our various messes will be adopted, which is a shame because I think he s right on

  9. says:

    selected judt essays creating a picture of his world history and polic sci views from 20th into 21st century taken mostly from new york review of books, with some from tls and nyt

  10. says:

    facts essays and facts essays and facts that make the reader think.

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