British scholar Tony Judt dies aged 62
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
British historiandied Friday of complications from (ALS) at the age of 62. Judt was known for his contributions to European history and his controversial position regarding the .
Judt's death was announced in a statement from(NYU), where he was a professor. He died in his home in , said the school. Judt is survived by his third wife, dance critic Jennifer Homans, and their two children, Nicholas and Daniel. Judt's first two marriages both ended in a divorce.
Tony Robert Judt, a London, but spent much of his adult life in the United States. The descendant of Lithuanian , he was sent to a camp in Israel as a teenager, and became a . Later, he spoke at a Zionist convention in Paris and worked as a translator for the Israel Defense Forces in 1967, starting with the ., was born on January 2, 1948 in
Judt, also an author, became a World War II. He also wrote about topics such as the fall of Marxism and Communism.finalist for his 2005 book . The almost 900-page book covers the history of the development of Europe after
In September 2008, Judt was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. One form of, ALS targets nerve cells and causes a loss of speech and movement abilities. Left paralyzed and unable to breathe without assistance, Judt continued to lecture. Earlier this year, Judt was able to write a group of personal essays for , in which he discussed the disease. "In contrast to almost every other serious or deadly disease, one is thus left free to contemplate at leisure and in minimal discomfort the catastrophic progress of one's own deterioration," he wrote. In 2009, Judt was the recipient of a special , given to him for "intelligence, insight and conspicuous courage."
Judt's later views on Israel differed from those he had held as a teenager. In 1983, he called Israel a "belligerently intolerant, faith-driven ethno state," opposing a. Earlier this year, he wrote, "most Israelis were not transplanted latter-day agrarian socialists but young, prejudiced urban Jews who differed from their European or American counterparts chiefly in their macho, swaggering self-confidence, and access to armed weapons." His stance on the topic was the subject of much controversy, even leading to his removal from the editorial committee for .