” History always happens to us and nothing ever stays the same. “


” I started work on my first French history book in 1969, on ‘Socialism in Provence’ in 1974, and on the essays in Marxism and the French Left in 1978. Conversely, my first non-academic publication, a review in the ‘TLS’, did not come until the late 1980s, and it was not until 1993 that I published my first piece in the ‘New York Review. “


” My history writing was based on what I saw in strange, exotic places rather than just reading books. “


” I see myself as, first and above all, a teacher of history, next, a writer of European history, next, a commentator on European affairs, next, a public intellectual voice within the American left, and only then an occasional, opportunistic participant in the pained American discussion of the Jewish matter. “


” You don’t have to be Jewish to understand the history of Europe in the 20th century, but it helps. “


” History can show you that it was one pile of bad stuff after another. It can also show you that there’s been tremendous progress in knowledge, behaviour, laws, civilisation. It cannot show you that there was a meaning behind it. “



All 6 Tony Judt Quotes about History in picture


History always happens to us and nothing ever stays the same.
I started work on my first French history book in 1969, on


My history writing was based on what I saw in strange, exotic places rather than just reading books.
I see myself as, first and above all, a teacher of history, next, a writer of European history, next, a commentator on European affairs, next, a public intellectual voice within the American left, and only then an occasional, opportunistic participant in the pained American discussion of the Jewish matter.
You don
History can show you that it was one pile of bad stuff after another. It can also show you that there
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