Tony Judt - Historian and Professor Dies

By: Susan Harris
Staff Writer
Published: Aug 7, 2021

British historian Tony Judt was considered a giant in the intellectual world.

Tony Judt was the famous historian and professor. Historian Tony Judt dies after a two-year battle with motor neurone disease. Tony Judt was considered to be a giant in the intellectual world.

Judt chronicled his illness in unsparing detail in public lectures and essays. This delivered an extraordinary account that won him almost as much respect as his voluminous historical and political work. In fact, he earned respect from both sides of the Atlantic.

He was born in 1948 and grew up in south London. His mother's parents had emigrated from Russia; his father was Belgian, descended from a line of Lithuanian rabbis. His academic career began with a history degree and PhD at Cambridge and took him eventually to New York University.

His finest work was widely thought to be Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, published in 2005 and an enormous critical success. It was described by the Yale historian Timothy Snyder as "the best book on its subject that will ever be written by anyone." However, Judt did receive his share of critism from fellow intellectuals.

His criticism of Israel, particularly a 2006 essay in which he declared that Israel today is bad for the Jews, placed him at the center of an intellectual firestorm. Not that he appeared to care what others thought. "I'm regarded outside New York University as a looney tunes leftie, self-hating Jewish communist; inside the university, I'm regarded as a typical, old-fashioned, white male liberal elitist," Tony Judt recently said in a statement. "I like that. I'm on the edge of both, it makes me feel comfortable."