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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece de Resistance., 6 July 2013
By 
Mr. G. Morgan "wes" (Haywards Heath, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956 (Paperback)
Since university I have been baffled at the defences of Communism I read in the works of fellow-travelling Communists such as Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Here I found, at long last, an account that goes a long way to explain the background to their pronouncements and deeds, or lack of them (few did anything for the Resistance, to my surprise). This book looks at these difficult years and gives a lucid, learned account of these matters and more. Judt's knowledge of and research into the intricacies of French intellectual life of the time is formidable, and his research is astonishing, from the well known Soviet show trials to the rather more obscure ones in Czechosolvakia and Bulgaria. He quotes the French comments on such, both Left and Right and, where necessary, relates them to the rule of the Directoire of the early 1790s. I was enlightened about so much; I enjoyed reading this too, although I would echo the sage advice of the reviewer who advised some preparatory reading if you are not au fait with the maîtres a penser of the war years. All in all a rich and rewarding read, in fact my favourite of his books, just shading 'The Burden of Responsibility'. I have never read anything comparably informative, intelligent and lucid, nor do I expect to do so. Brilliant.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ANALYSING LA TRAHISON DES CLERCS, 25 Nov. 2011
By 
J. Scott (SCOTLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956 (Paperback)
This book was written before the publication of Postwar made Tony Judt's reputation as a first rate historian. It has been republished after his death.
It is the work of a powerful intellect comfortable dealing with complex questions of political
philosophy and morality.
It is however very different from Postwar and the works which followed it.
It is a work of academic rather than popular history.
If you don't know who Mounier and Merleau-Ponty were, you would be advised to do some background reading.
You will probably find it worth the effort because Tony Judt has few - if any - rivals in explaining how French intellectuals were seduced by utopian socialism.
If French intellectuals do not have the eminence they had in the mid-20th century, Tony Judt's book goes a long way to explain their fall from grace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 3 May 2013
By 
Jose G. "JA" (Cascais, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956 (Paperback)
I "discovered Tony Judt two years ago and found that he is the perfect company to B. Russel, Gunther Grass, Albert Camus and Martin Gilbert.
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Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956
Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956 by Tony Judt (Paperback - 25 July 2011)
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