Tony Judt, 1948-2010

Tony_judt William Grimes in the NYT:

Tony Judt, the author of “Postwar,” a monumental history of Europe after World War II, and a public intellectual known for his sharply polemic essays on American foreign policy, the state of Israel and the future of Europe, died Friday. He was 62 and had lived in Manhattan.

The death was announced in a statement from New York University, where he had taught for many years. In September 2008, he learned that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In a matter of months the disease left him paralyzed and able to breathe only with mechanical assistance, but he continued to lecture and write.

“In effect,” he wrote in an essay published in January in The New York Review of Books, “A.L.S. constitutes progressive imprisonment without parole.”

Mr. Judt (pronounced Jutt), who was British by birth and education but who taught at American universities for most of his career, began as a specialist in postwar French intellectual history, and for much of his life he embodied the idea of the French-style engaged intellectual.