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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