Tony Judt

by zunguzungu

I’ve been reading his collection of stuff he had published elsewhere and collected in a book, Reappraisals, and enjoying it a lot. He passed away today, and we’re all the poorer for it. This interview gives you a nice sense of the man, including this little bit of sunshine on Obama:
…it was a distinctive quality of the Obama campaign that it offered not just particular legislation or programs, but a radical recasting of the mood of politics in a democracy dangerously detached from its own founding virtues. His complete failure to vindicate that promise—indeed, his abandoning of nearly all the terms of innovative political approach that got him elected—is far more serious and devastating than his particular failure to follow through on health policy, the Middle East, etc. He has raised and dashed hopes in a way that no one has done here for two generations. That seems to me grounds for despair. What would you have me say? That he may yet do better? That he inherited a tough situation? That all politics is the art of compromise? All true. And all secondary to the scale of lost hopes.
(Sepoy has a better set of links, though.)