As the economic collapse of 2008 made clear, the social contract that defined postwar life in Europe and America is no longer guaranteed. Historian Judt challenges readers to confront societal ills and shoulder responsibility for the world they live in.As the economic collapse of 2008 made clear, the social contract that defined postwar life in Europe and America is no longer guaranteed. Historian Judt challenges readers to confront societal ills and shoulder responsibility for the world they live in.Read Less
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To me this book came across as distasteful and uninteresting. After reading a few pages, and skimming a few more, I put it away. If I got paid to review it, I believe that I might have read it. However, absent ulterior motivation, I see no point of spending my time with it.
Mar 17, 2011
The cure for what ails us
Tony Judt was one of a rare breed we call public intellectuals. As he lay dying, he insisted on getting this book done as a way of trying one last time to show us what is possible, if only we try.
As we watch the Western world's governments struggle to right the capsized ship of laissez faire capitalism, Ill Fares The Land stands by as the answer, whether we call that social democracy or democratic socialism.
But this is not only a political or economic prescription. Rather, Judt wants a better world because he thinks we're capable of it. We don't have to succumb to the easy answer that the capitalists provide; we don't have to say that selfishness is the dominant human condition.
Judt gives us a brilliant analysis of what is, an incisive history of where it came from, and a reason to hope that we can all do better. And he does it in clear and riveting prose that makes the reading of Ill Fares The Land go as easily as any non-fiction book can.
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