Monday, 11 January 2010

The Courage of Tony Judt

There was a very moving interview conducted by Ed Pilkington with the contemporary historian Tony Judt published in Saturday’s Guardian. Judt, London-born, US based, is enduring the hell of a rapidly worsening motor neurone disease, ‘one of the worst diseases on earth’, as he puts it. Judt has specialized in chronicling the lives of that rare band of fearless progressives who held out against the tyranny of Soviet totalitarianism: his excellent book, The Burden of Responsibility (Chicago University Press, 1998) is both a study and a celebration of three Frenchmen – Raymond Aron, Albert Camus and Leon Blum – committed to the ideals of democracy as so many of their compatriots dealt with the devil. In the interview, Judt revealed himself to be a man of similar courage.

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