Charter 77

In January of 1977, Czechoslovakian dissidents composed a document entitled Charter 77 which sought to hold the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic government responsible for human rights violations.  The document’s architects included prominent Czech dissidents Vaclav Havel, Jan Patocka, and Jiri Hajeck; however, only 230 signatures initially appeared on the charter and by 1989 included merely 1,864Continue reading “Charter 77”

Reappraisals: Part III – Lost in Transition

Part III of Reappraisals is probably the least satisfying part of the book especially for someone who has little interest in France which takes up the first two chapters.  The other chapters on Tony Blair and Israel appear rather crass as Judt rips Blair for his lack of vision and Israel for its inability toContinue reading “Reappraisals: Part III – Lost in Transition”

Reappraisals: Part II – The Politics of Intellectual Engagement

In part II of Tony Judt’s Reappraisals, he examines the role of intellectuals in politics including some of the most well-known and influential thinks of our time such as Edward Said and Eric Hobsbawm.  In this section, he is both critical and praising towards these chosen intellectuals.  While not in full agreement, Judt finds scholarsContinue reading “Reappraisals: Part II – The Politics of Intellectual Engagement”

Reappraisals: Part I – The Heart of Darkness

As I have been reading Tony Judt’s collected essays in Reappraisals, I can see a connection between the Parts I & II.  Both of these parts explore intellectuals in the 20th century one of the main focuses of this book.  In Part I, he examines Koestler, Primo Levi, Manes Sperber, and Hannah Arendt.  These intellectualsContinue reading “Reappraisals: Part I – The Heart of Darkness”

Reappraisals: Arthur Koestler

Judt’s chapter on Koestler mostly consists of a review he did for the New Republic on David Cesarani’s biography of Arthur Koestler.  In the review, Judt harshly criticizes Cesarani for judging Koestler out of context.  Basically Judt believes that Cesarani judged and criticized Koestler’s behavior toward women based on today’s morals rather than those ofContinue reading “Reappraisals: Arthur Koestler”