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About the book
  • Published: 7 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448182596
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

Thinking the Twentieth Century

The final masterpiece by one of the leading historians and thinkers of his generation, the late Tony Judt.

Thinking the Twentieth Century unites the conflicted intellectual history of an epoch into a soaring narrative.

Two explorers set out on a journey from which only one of them will return. Their unknown land is that often fearsome continent we call the 20th Century. Their route is through their own minds and memories. Both travellers are professional historians still tormented by their own unanswered questions. They needed to talk to one another, and the time was short.

This is a book about the past, but it is also an argument for the kind of future we should strive for. Thinking the Twentieth Century is about the life of the mind - and the mindful life.

  • Pub date: 7 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448182596
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

About the Authors

Tony Judt

Professor Tony Judt was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Republic, the New York Times and many other journals in Europe and the US. His books include Ill Fares the Land, Reappraisals: 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 62.

Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder is Levin Professor of History at Yale University, and has written and edited a number of critically acclaimed and prize-winning books about twentieth-century European history: his most recent book, On Tyranny, was an international bestseller. Previous books include Black Earth, which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the annual prize of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee; and Bloodlands, which won the Hannah Arendt Prize, the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award in the Humanities and the literature award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Snyder is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences, and sits on the advisory council of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.

Praise for Thinking the Twentieth Century

“Timothy Snyder's initiative has prompted a sparkling dialogue which, through following the stages of Tony Judt's life and emergence as an exceptional historian, offers important reflections on major currents of political thinking in the 20th century”

Ian Kershaw

“There is much brilliance here to enjoy ... The best kind of book”

David Aaronovitch, The Times

“Brilliant to the bitter end...Tony Judt was combative and razor-sharp even as he was dying...A moving, enlightening and provocative read...It is impossible not to marvel at the dying man's extraordinary mental recall and moral integrity ... This book, bristling with learning, is a staggering achievement”

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

“Thinking the Twentieth Century is a substantial achievement”

Tony Barber, Financial Times

“Brilliantly eloquent”

Neil Ascherson, Guardian

“A treasure trove of ideas and insights...An extraordinarily learned, lively and wide-ranging discussion of 20th century European intellectual history...genuinely exciting”

Andrew Neather, Evening Standard

“How, you keep asking yourself, could one man remember all this narrative detail, these abstruse references, these verbatim quotations?…Valiant book…Read it and weep that there shall be no more”

Christopher Bray, Observer

“Reading as one very long yet sophisticated conversation between friends, the final result is something quite astounding and will cement Judt as one of the most formidable intellects in history”

The Big Issue North

“Breathtakingly broad overview of Europe's past and present... This book is an absolute treasure – and an education in itself”

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

“Stimulating, provocative, and consistently absorbing, this is an intellectual history that manages to be both accessible and challenging... Thinking the Twentieth Century is a treasure trove of fascinating concepts and arguments”

Stephen Joyce, Nudge

“A fascinating dialogue… What shines through is as much their deep wisdom as their tough-minded intellectual integrity”

Steve Barfield, The Lady

“Informative, personal and stimulating… Eloquently written and thoughtful, the book also provides a persuasive argument for the kind of future we should strive for”

Good Book Guide

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