Anthony Judt has died

by Henry Farrell on August 7, 2010

I have not seen any online obituary yet, and am about to get on a flight to Ireland (so will not be able to update this for 24 hours or so).



P O'Neill 08.07.10 at 4:22 pm

Pre-Obit in … The Indo, of all places.


Red 08.07.10 at 6:41 pm

Obit in


Alex 08.07.10 at 10:48 pm

Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, told The New York Observer at the time that Mr. Judt, on Israel, “has become precisely the kind of intellectual whom his intellectual heroes would have despised.”

Is that the Sprezzatura, d’you reckon?


josh 08.08.10 at 1:32 am

Also reported in the Guardian/Observer:
Very sad news indeed — a great loss for all of us, his readers.
(By the way, I believe his full birth name was just Tony, not Anthony.)


Roger Albin 08.08.10 at 3:13 pm

I stongly recommend the video of the lecture that became Ill Fares the Land. Its remarkable for Judt’s calm and dignified demeanor in the face of death.


Red 08.08.10 at 4:33 pm

Have we had a discussion of the issues raised in Ill Fares the Land on CT?


david 08.08.10 at 6:10 pm

Goodness gracious, but that review of Ill Fares the Land linked to in the Times obituary gets at just about everything one can’t stand about the Hoover Institution. Now I’ll have to read the book.


nick s 08.09.10 at 3:19 am

that review of Ill Fares the Land linked to in the Times obituary gets at just about everything one can’t stand about the Hoover Institution

More pointedly, it’s yet another example of Sam Tanenhaus’s “handjobs for conservatives, hatchet jobs for liberals” commissioning policy as editor of the NYT Book Review.


Steve LaBonne 08.09.10 at 1:48 pm

His illness and untimely death were such a terrible waste. We really can’t afford to lose any voices of sanity in these insane times.


John Quiggin 08.10.10 at 9:03 am

I read Ill Fares the Land and meant to write a review. Sadly, as with Andrew Glyn’s Capitalism Unleashed, my review will now have to serve as a tribute.


John Quiggin 08.10.10 at 10:50 am

I just read the NYT review. Josef Joffe! It’s startling (though not surprising) that Tanenhaus doesn’t regard delusional views on global warming, Iraq and just about everything else as any kind of disqualification for a reviewer of someone as eminent and sane as Tony Judt.


Martin Wisse 08.11.10 at 6:06 am

Even knowning nothing of Joffe, just one sentence is enought o condemn that man as a fool: “This is why America has lived with the same constitution since 1787. ” Technically correct perhaps, but so incredibly muddleheaded in every other aspect you can’t even call it wrong.

Judt deserved better than him to review his books.


Danielle Day 08.11.10 at 9:26 pm

I’m in the middle of IFTL. Agree or disagree (and there’s plenty on both sides of the aisle) it’s great stuff. If it wasn’t a library copy, i’d be underlining every sentence.


Red 08.12.10 at 1:22 am

I thought about reviewing Ill Fares the Land for another blog but didn’t get around to it, in part because it is such an unusual book. He left a lot out, I kept thinking, but of course the essay was meant as a call for action, or rather a call for thought, and not as a big tome on the demise of social democracy. One could hardly fault him for not reprising his massive Postwar. Still, more could be said about the ruinous effects of globalization, which not only killed union power but also undermines the nation state as an autonomous agent. Social democracy “worked” only within a national structure. International socialism no longer exists. And if battles are no longer fought in the streets or national parlements, they certainly can’t be fought in the media, where Das Kapital (the thing, not the book) reigns supreme (This last bit may be less obvious for people who don’t live in Fox nation). But then again, I imagine that this is a conclusion Judt was not willing to draw—at least not in his last message to a young generation.

I just loved his pieces in NYRB.


PHB 08.12.10 at 2:47 am

With the recent revelation by the the ‘Anti-Defamation’ League, it would perhaps be fitting if people were to take this as a moment to re-consider Judt’s One State proposal without the distractions created by those who have exposed themselves as irrelevant bigots.

Any state that believes that it cannot exist on the basis of equal rights for all has no claim on our support.


PHB 08.12.10 at 3:00 am

In particular-

“Israel itself is a multicultural society in all but name; yet it remains distinctive among democratic states in its resort to ethnoreligious criteria with which to denominate and rank its citizens. It is an oddity among modern nations not—as its more paranoid supporters assert—because it is a Jewish state and no one wants the Jews to have a state; but because it is a Jewish state in which one community—Jews—is set above others, in an age when that sort of state has no place.”

The fear and reprisals taken at what must surely be seen now as a fairly modest statement of obvious fact strongly suggest that they know this to be the truth.

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