When The Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010

Paperback | January 5, 2016

byTony JudtEditorJennifer Homans

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"When the facts change, I change my mind--what do you do, sir?"

A great thinker’s final testament: a characteristically wise and forthright collection of essays spanning a career of extraordinary intellectual engagement

 
In an age in which there has been an erosion of fact-based journalism and the lack of independent public intellectuals has often been sorely lamented, Tony Judt played a rare and valuable role, bringing together history and current events, Europe and America, the world as it was and as it is with what it should be. In When the Facts Change, Tony Judt’s widow and fellow historian Jennifer Homans has assembled an essential collection of Judt’s most important and influential pieces written in the last fifteen years of his life, when he found his voice in the public sphere. These seminal essays reflect the full range of Judt’s concerns, including Europe as an idea and in reality; Israel, the Holocaust, and the Jews; American hyperpower and the world after 9/11; and issues of social inclusion and social justice in a time of increasing inequality.

Judt believed his real job was not to say what wasn't but to say what was--to tell a convincing, clear story from available evidence, and to do it with a view of what was right and what was just. This was not only a duty, but a moral responsiblity for Judt and When the Facts Change is a testament to his legacy.

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"When the facts change, I change my mind--what do you do, sir?"A great thinker’s final testament: a characteristically wise and forthright collection of essays spanning a career of extraordinary intellectual engagement   In an age in which there has been an erosion of fact-based journalism and the lack of independent public intellectua...

Tony Judt (1948–2010) was educated at King’s College, Cambridge, and l’École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Berkeley. He was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of European Studies at New York University and the director of the Remarque Institute, which he founded in 1995. Among other...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8.4 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:January 5, 2016Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143128450

ISBN - 13:9780143128458

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The only way for me to write this introduction is to separate the man from the ideas. Otherwise, I get pulled back into the man, who I loved and was married to from 1993 until his death in 2010, rather than forward into the ideas. As you read these essays, I hope that you, too, will focus on the ideas, because they are good ideas, and they were written in good faith. “In good faith” may have been Tony’s favorite phrase and highest standard, and he held himself to it in everything he wrote. What he meant by it, I think, was writing that is free of calculation and maneuver, intellectual or otherwise. A clean, clear, honest account.This is a book about our age. The arc is down: from the heights of hope and possibility, with the revolutions of 1989, into the confusion, devastation, and loss of 9/11, the Iraq war, the deepening crisis in the Middle East, and—as Tony saw it—the self-defeating decline of the American republic. As the facts changed and events unfolded, Tony found himself turned increasingly and unhappily against the current, fighting with all of his intellectual might to turn the ship of ideas, however slightly, in a different direction. The story ends abruptly, with his untimely death.

Editorial Reviews

Mark Mazower, Financial Times: “Tony Judt was a historian whose journalism includes some of the finest things he wrote... In an era of growing anti-intellectualism, his essays remind us of what we gain when we stick fast to high ethical and intellectual standards, and what is lost when we let them slip.”Samuel Moyn, The New York Times Book Review: “Scintillating journalism... This collection is a reminder of Judt’s clear mind and prose and, as Homans says in her lovely introduction, his fidelity to hard facts and to honest appraisal of the modern scene.... No wonder this book, and Judt’s assumption of the role of political critic after the Cold War, remain so relevant.”