Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect

French Intellectuals, 1944-1956

Book - 1992
Rate this:
University of California Press
The uniquely prominent role of French intellectuals in European cultural and political life following World War II is the focus of Tony Judt's newest book. He analyzes this intellectual community's most divisive conflicts: how to respond to the promise and the betrayal of Communism and how to sustain a commitment to radical ideals when confronting the hypocrisy in Stalin's Soviet Union, in the new Eastern European Communist states, and in France itself. Judt shows why this was an all-consuming moral dilemma to a generation of French men and women, how their responses were conditioned by war and occupation, and how post-war political choices have come to sit uneasily on the conscience of later generations of French intellectuals.

Judt's analysis extends beyond the writings of fashionable "Existentialist" personalities such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Simone de Beauvoir to include a wide intellectual community of Catholic philosophers, non-aligned journalists, literary critics and poets, Communist and non-Communist alike.

Judt treats the intellectual dilemmas of the postwar years as an unfinished history. French intellectuals have not fully come to terms with the gnawing sense of what Judt calls the "moral irresponsibility" of those years. The result, he suggests, is a legacy of bad faith and confusion that has damaged France's cultural standing, notably in newly liberated Eastern Europe, and which reflects the nation's larger difficulty in confronting its own ambivalent past.


Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, [1992]
Copyright Date: ©1992
ISBN: 9780520079212
0520079213
Branch Call Number: 944.082 JUDT
Characteristics: x, 348 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top