Read Ill Fares The Land: A Treatise On Our Present Discontents by Tony Judt Free Online
Book Title: Ill Fares The Land: A Treatise On Our Present Discontents|
The author of the book: Tony Judt
Edition: Penguin Books Ltd
Date of issue: April 7th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780718191412
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 638 KB
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Something is profoundly wrong with the way we think about how we should live today.
In Ill Fares The Land, Tony Judt, one of our leading historians and thinkers, reveals how we have arrived at our present dangerously confused moment. Judt masterfully crystallizes what we’ve all been feeling into a way to think our way into, and thus out of, our great collective dis-ease about the current state of things.
As the economic collapse of 2008 made clear, the social contract that defined postwar life in Europe and America – the guarantee of a basal level of security, stability and fairness -- is no longer guaranteed; in fact, it’s no longer part of the common discourse. Judt 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. To find a way forward, we must look to our not so distant past and to social democracy in action: to re-enshrining fairness over mere efficiency.
Distinctly absent from our national dialogue, social democrats believe that the state can play an enhanced role in our lives without threatening our liberties. Instead of placing blind faith in the market—as we have to our detriment for the past thirty years—social democrats entrust their fellow citizens and the state itself.
Ill Fares the Land challenges us to confront our societal ills and to shoulder responsibility for the world we live in. For hope remains. In reintroducing alternatives to the status quo, Judt reinvigorates our political conversation, providing the tools necessary to imagine a new form of governance, a new way of life.
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Read information about the authorBorn in 1948, Tony Judt was raised in the East End of London by a mother whose parents had immigrated from Russia and a Belgian father who descended from a line of Lithuanian rabbis. Judt was educated at Emanuel School, before receiving a BA (1969) and PhD (1972) in history from the University of Cambridge.
Like many other Jewish parents living in postwar Europe, his mother and father were secular, but they sent him to Hebrew school and steeped him in the Yiddish culture of his grandparents, which Judt says he still thinks of wistfully. Urged on by his parents, Judt enthusiastically waded into the world of Israeli politics at age 15. He helped promote the migration of British Jews to Israel. In 1966, having won an exhibition to King's College Cambridge, he took a gap year and went to work on kibbutz Machanaim. When Nasser expelled UN troops from Sinai in 1967, and Israel mobilized for war, like many European Jews, he volunteered to replace kibbutz members who had been called up. During and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, he worked as a driver and translator for the Israel Defense Forces.
But during the aftermath of the war, Judt's belief in the Zionist enterprise began to unravel. "I went with this idealistic fantasy of creating a socialist, communitarian country through work," Judt has said. The problem, he began to believe, was that this view was "remarkably unconscious of the people who had been kicked out of the country and were suffering in refugee camps to make this fantasy possible."
Career: King's College, Cambridge, England, fellow, 1972-78; University of California at Berkeley, assistant professor, 1978-80; St. Anne's College, Oxford University, Oxford, England, fellow, 1980-87; New York University, New York, NY, professor of history, 1987--, director of Remarque Institute, 1995--.
Awards: American Council of Learned Societies, fellow, 1980; British Academy Award for Research, 1984; Nuffield Foundation fellow, 1986; Guggenheim fellow, 1989; Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction finalist, 2006, for Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945.