Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Posts Tagged ‘Primo Levi

Review: Tony Judt and Timothy Snyder, Thinking the Twentieth Century

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After publishing Postwar in 2005, a tour de force of European history since World War II, winning the Arthur Ross Book Award for best book in international affairs and numerous other awards, Tony Judt prepared to write an ambitious intellectual and cultural history of Twentieth Century social thought. A professor of European History at New York University, founder and director of the Erich Maria Remarque Institute at NYU, frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, and public intellectual, Judt’s plan for his next book mothballed, as personal history intervened in the form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. By late 2008, Judt no longer had use of his hands; two years later, he passed away. Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: Primo Levi’s Drowned and the Saved

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Now that it is summer time, my reading schedule is in full swing—and Levi’s books were in my queue for a while.  Born in Turin, Levi trained as a chemist before joining an anti-Fascist resistance movement.  In early 1944, the Nazis captured and imprisoned Levi at Auschwitz where he witnessed the horrors of the German Lager.  Under normal circumstances, the Germans would spare political prisoners the fate of Auschwitz’s concentrationary system, instead placing them in better-fed, better-kept gaols with their fellow ‘conspirators.’  But Levi was Jewish. Read the rest of this entry »