James Payne's Reviews > The Memory Chalet

The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt
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's review
Oct 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: essays, history, memoirs, nonfiction
Read in October, 2011

Each time Judt mentioned a woman, women, or his thoughts on sexual politics, my skin crawled. He does have excellent insights on American Judaism, especially in regard to the motivations for Holocaust remembrance. His main point seemed like a moderate version of Norman Finkelstein's basic thesis in The Holocaust Industry - surprising.

Judt's vantage point is that of a conservative socialist - something I've rarely encountered and don't know what to do with. It's a personal panacea that allows him to simultaneously be an elitist and a man of the people and, I don't know, I just don't care. Perhaps I would be more accepting of that cognitive dissonance if I too were working-class turned elite intellectual and had to integrate those contradictions in order to live my day-to-day life in whatever privileged circles everyone I knew as a child was barred from. But I'm not, so I don't, so whatever.

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