Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
History is a discipline peculiarly impervious to high theoretical speculation: the more Theory intrudes, the farther History recedes.
When I was in university, studying anthropology, I always resented the requirement that my essays have thesis statements. Can’t I just collect information and serve it up without taking some ultimate stance? Tony Judt seems to have been of the same mind, since this book is one very large serving of information, absent of any overarching thesis. As he says himse ...more
For Judt Europe ends where North Africa, Turkey and Russia begin, so everywhere in between gets some coverage. The coverage given to eastern Europe contrasts with the situation in the west - an advantage which earlier pre-1989 histories can't offer.
In retrospect the treatment of the immediate post war years stands out as particularly good - but this may be due to their inherent drama. There are lots of po ...more
Europe was always very near to me, even though it was ...more
The whole book also has a personal stamp: an at times explicit nostalgic yearning to the time social democracy improved so many things in Europe, for so many peo ...more
I know that this book has already received enough praise but it is very well deserved indeed.
It is a detailed and vivid tour of Europe from the end of World War II to 2005. Using the political, social, economic and cultural events and their perspectives the author managed to construct an elegant and convincing narrative that makes the sequence of events that shaped postwar Europe a coherent read.
I can only recommend it to everyone who is (or considers oneself) European, it will be a ...more
This book's great ...more
Postwar is absolutely monumental. Not only is it a tremendous work of scholarship, but it also has a really great sense of humor. Judt throws shade on everyone from Marxists to ex-Nazis to the Sex Pistols to David Beckham. All of that and I learned a bunch of new words (autarkic! propitious! adumbrated!).
Why are you reading this re ...more
The unassuming, almost provocatively direct title belies an almost 1,000-page exhaustive survey of European history since the end of World War II. Yet this book isn't meant just to look impressive on the bookshelf; Judt is an astute thinker and polished writer who brings extensive cultural knowledge about film, music, and literature to bear on his daunting subjects: the Holocaust, the Stalinized East, the tide-changing 1960s, the implosion of the Iron Curtain, the policies of the European Union,...more
Even if memory remains somewhat… asymmetrical across European nations, even if this book was completed, ironically, just a few years before the fiscal crisis kicked off – which means that the much appraised postwar recovery doesn’t register as an economic miracle in individual conscience anymore, and rightly so – Europe, as we know it today, is still a phenomenal achiev ...more
Although never stated as such, the book shows that Europe had to reckon with two major ideas after World Wa ...more
Like many other Jewish parents living in postwar Europe, his mother and father were secular, ...more