Good followup to his articles over the years in the NYR of Books. A moderate call to arms.
Judt presented very good arguments for how we got to our present situation, but was a little lacking on suggestions of how to improve the economic outlook for the general population.
Loved this book, went out and bought a copy. A must-read for any voter out there. Judt had my respect as a proper academic, not just another crank, thanks to Postwar.
In response to another reviewer, knowledge of economics is not necessary to rate this book. In fact, 'knowledge' of economics is what this book argues against.
Economics was supposed to be a tool for building/improving the society. Now there is no society in our discourse, we only talk about GDP and percentages. Only the tool remains, used increasingly against the very society it was supposed to serve.
I've enjoyed reading this book, but my knowledge of economics is too limited for me to rate it. The book did give some understanding of our society's shortcomings, and a good view of social democracy. Perhaps it's time to take an Economics course as the subject has escaped my attention my whole life.
Read this if you want to look at what may be necessary in future political & social actions.
Judt, best known for "Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945," concisely details the need for a society that upholds equality, justice and fairness, something currently missing from our political discourse. After World War II, there was a consensus among even the most conservative economists that society must provide basic needs for everyone and that governments must buffer the extremes of the "free market." Such policies, economists and politicians agreed, were the only way of ensuring against the return of the fascist governments that took over Germany and Italy in the 1920s and '30s. With the economic collapse of recent years as a backdrop, Judt argues passionately that unless we adopt the social democratic (and New Deal) policies that brought prosperity after the war, we may well pave the way for another Hitler or Mussolini, either in Europe, or in America.
if only political debate in North America were half as informative as Judt's book, but his hopes for a return of a social democratic movement are probably wishful thinking
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