Tony Judt

Reading Tony Judt in Wartime Ukraine By Marci Shore

The congress was the idea of Leon Wieseltier, whose friendship with Tony ended in 2003, when Tony published “Israel: The Alternative” in The New York Review of Books. In that essay, Tony made a merciless argument: it was contradictory to wish for both a Jewish state and a democracy. His anti-Zionism resembled the anti-communism of Arthur Koestler: a passion that comes from having once been on the inside. After the essay appeared, Leon did not speak to him for years. In August, 2010, Tony died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. If Tony were here, Leon told Timothy Snyder, my husband, as they were organizing the Kiev congress, he would have been the first person Leon would have asked to come.

In his opening address in Kiev, Tim evoked “the tradition of Tony Judt, the great historian of Europe of his era, who understood that the West made no sense without the East, and politics no sense without ideas.” Tony had come to ideas early, and Eastern Europe much later. Marxism, he once told me, had been the air he had breathed as a child from an Eastern European Jewish immigrant family growing up in postwar Britain. Later, as a Cambridge student, he was among thousands who gathered in Paris in May, 1968, “jump[ing] up and down quite so enthusiastically at the demonstrations as we shouted Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh.”

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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