Ill Fares the Land

Ill Fares the Land

by Tony Judt
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Overview

Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt

A gift to the next generation of engaged citizens, from one of our most celebrated intellectuals.

As the economic collapse of 2008 made clear, the social contract that defined postwar life in Europe and America-the guarantee of security, stability, and fairness-is no longer guaranteed; in fact, it's no longer part of the common discourse. Tony Judt, one of our leading historians and thinkers, offers the language we need to address our common needs, rejecting the nihilistic individualism of the far Right and the debunked socialism of the past. In reintroducing alternatives to the status quo, Judt invigorates our political conversation, furnishing the tools necessary to imagine a new form of governance and a better way of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143118763
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/29/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 472,948
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tony Judt was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of European Studies at New York University, as well as the founder and director of the Remarque Institute, dedicated to creating an ongoing conversation between Europe and the United States. He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge, and the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and also taught at Cambridge, Oxford, and Berkeley. Professor Judt was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of BooksThe Times Literary Supplement, The New RepublicThe New York Times, and many journals across Europe and the United States. He is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Thinking the Twentieth CenturyThe Memory ChaletIll Fares the LandReappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century, and Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, which was one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2005, the winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He died in August 2010 at the age of sixty-two.

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Ill Fares the Land 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book all persons interested in the future should read and , if possible, discuss with others. Early he states, "One of my goals is to suggest that government can play an enhanced role in our lives without threatening our liberties- and argue that, since the state is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, we would do well to think about the sort of state we want." Tony Judt has a rearkable ability to condense history into readable passages. Nevertheless, although it is a relatively small book, it requires time to reflect upon and often to reread many pages. His observations historically, politically and economic include mostly European countries and the United States, although other countries are also included. In his "Conclusion" he recalls, after deliverng a lecture in New York in 2009,a twelve year old boy posing a question , which in effect said, in any debate when the word "socialism" is raised, the debate is derailed and how can the conversation be resumed. In answer Judt proposes two possibilities. One, set aside socialism, acknowedging that the idea has been polluted by association with 20th century dictatorships. He warns that although this method is simple it is subject to the charge of hypocracy.Second, the more positive method, is to discriminate between "socialism" and "social Democracy". The latter is a compromise, accepting capitalism and "parliamentary democracy" (legislative) as the "framework within which the hitherto neglected interests of large sections of the populations would now be addrssed." Near the end of his book he brings to or attention a significant statment of Edund Burke. "Society is a partnership not only between those who are living but betwee those who are living,those who are dead and those who are to be born." A call to remember history, consider the best of the present but be mindful of those whose future will depend upon our decisions today. A book well worth reading for the broad picture.
JPFred More than 1 year ago
Tony Judt is an excellent historian of post-WWII Europe and a close observer of the U.S. in many New York Review of Books pieces. He has written a probing book that examines the decline of democracy in the West and thoughtfully rebuilds a path back to fully democratic societies. The book is short, but small sections demand serious reflection on the reader's part, so it takes time and energy to get the full import of what Judt has written. This is his final book, as he has ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and is declining. The book is Tony Judt's gift to thoughtful citizens everywhere.
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Very readable - immediately engrossing. Important message for Americans at this time. Excellent.
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