Date published: April 18, 2012
Thinking the Twentieth Century By Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder Penguin, 432 pp., $36.00
Historian Tony Judt, who wrote one of the best histories of post- World War II Europe (Postwar), died in 2010 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. After Judt was diagnosed with the disease, Yale historian Timothy Snyder had a series of conversations with him about his life and about his thoughts on many of the most important events, trends and figures of the 20th century. Consider it a more rarefied version of the highly popular Tuesdays with M o me, journalist Mitch Albom's book based on his interviews with his former teacher, Morrie Schwartz, who also died of ALS. Judt, a secular Jew, has at times made controversial comments about Israel and American Jewish support for its policies, which comes through in a chapter of this book. He also defends the welfare state as he did in /// Fares the Land, a book he published before bis death.