Reappraisals

  • by Tony Judt
  • Narrated by James Adams
  • 16 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The accelerating changes of the past generation have been accompanied by a similarly accelerated amnesia. The 20th century has become "history" at an unprecedented rate. The world of 2007 was so utterly unlike that of even 1987, much less any earlier time, that we have lost touch with our immediate past even before we have begun to make sense of it - and the results are proving calamitous.In less than a generation, the headlong advance of globalization has altered structures of thought that had been essentially unchanged since the European industrial revolution. As a result, we have lost touch with a century of social thought and socially motivated activism. In the 24 essays in Reappraisals, Judt resurrects the key aspects of the world we have lost to remind us how important they still are to us now and to our future.

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What the Critics Say

"As a fascinating exploration of the world we have recently lost - for good or bad, or both - this collection...cannot be bested." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent essays, flawed narration

Tony Judt was one of the few contemporary thinkers who managed to combine rigorous scholarship with brilliant prose,resulting in cogent exposition of complex issues and theories. These essays, originally published in The New York Review of Books and other similar publications, furnish ample intellectually stimulation and the occasional chuckle, as Judt can have a wicked sense of humor. His dissection of Blair's Britain is brilliantly disheartening and as are the denunciation of Louis Althusser's theories as convoluted gibberish. Primo Levi and Hannah Arendt are lovingly revisited as are intellectuals such Leszek Kolakowski , Eric Hobsbawm and Arthur Koestler. Judt manages to transform even the intricacies of Belgian politics into a fascinating subject.
While I can but praise the text, I have some major problems with the reading of it. James Adams is an adequate reader, but he has major problems with any pronunciation rather than English, and the book is absolutely full of French, Italian , Polish , etc. I found myself heavily cringing at the almost incomprehensible mispronunciations of some non-English words scattered around the text. I would have thought one who accepts the job of reading such a text should do the basic homework of finding out how the names of important writers and intellectuals are pronounced.
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- Paola Piglia

Brilliant essays, rather odd delivery

This set of reprinted reviews and essays confirms Tony Judt's position as one of the great post-war historical and political commentators. His knowledge and assessment of the figures and movements of world, and in particular European politics is masterful. I have enjoyed his larger works, and now, following his tragic early demise have turned to the lesser components of his oeuvre.

Which brings me to the rather odd pronunciation of his narrator. James Adams has a curious habit of investing French loanwords, such as oeuvre with idiosyncratic pronunciations. Thus oeuvre becomes ouvre, and insouciant ahnsoowisornt. If anything he rather overdoes his attempts to capture French vowels, which. given his otherwise impeccable received pronunciation, puts one in mind of a Surrey High Street bank manager trying, and failing, to pass for a French native. I realise that this is a rather trivial criticism of an otherwise excellent talking book, and that there will be many who find this only mildly irritating, if at all. It would be no criticism at all were it not for Tony Judt's fondness for French loanwords, but I found it a bit of a distraction.

I'm a bit of a pedant, me.
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- Dr.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 23-04-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.