Tony Judt - Overview

Overview

A Marxist Zionist as a young man, Judt dropped his faith in Zionism after youthful experience in Israel in the 1960s and came to see a Jewish state as an anachronism; he moved away from Marxism in the 1970s and 1980s. In later life, he described himself as "a universalist social democrat". Judt's works include the highly acclaimed Postwar, a history of Europe after the Second World War. He was also well known for his views on Israel, which generated significant debate after he advocated a one-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

According to journalist David Herman, Judt's directorship of the Remarque Institute, his book Postwar and his articles on Israel made him "one of the best-known public intellectuals in America," having previously been "a fairly obscure British historian, specialising in modern French history".

In an interview a few weeks before his death Judt said: "I see myself as first and above all a teacher of history; next a writer of European history; next a commentator on European affairs; next a public intellectual voice within the American Left; and only then an occasional, opportunistic participant in the pained American discussion of the Jewish matter . . ."

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