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How to Get it Right: In Memory of Tony Judt

10 years ago to this day, on 6th of August 2010, the Postwar European historian and public intellectual Tony Judt died. A decade on, BRB reviewer Mario Clemens revisits Judt's legacy -- and finds him a superb companion for thinking about the prerequisites of sensible political judgment, which, it seems fair to say, is sorely lacking in these "post-truth" times. While the appeal of "higher truths" may have waned, public intellectuals now sometimes act in too timid a fashion -- foregoing the very courage and independence so valued by Judt. This, as Judt observed, renders intellectuals vulnerable to vacuous, yet dangerous, posturing -- a professional risk of "all-purpose intellectuals".

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The Berlin Review of Books aims to publish high-quality reviews of, and insightful essays based on, important recent books published in any language, with a focus on non-fiction. While it will often approach contemporary debates from a European perspective, it is open to intelligent contributions from around the globe. Our goal is to promote honest and knowledgeable debate of issues of real significance; for this reason, we are committed to financial and editorial independence. The Berlin Review of Books does not normally publish fiction or poetry, except by invitation.