The Memory Chalet

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9780143119975: The Memory Chalet

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

Final reflections on a happy life-from acclaimed historian Tony Judt.

Tony Judt's The Memory Chalet is a memoir unlike any other. Each essay brings the smallest details of personal experience into the larger frame of history. Judt's youthful love of a London bus route becomes a reflection on public civility. Food and trains and smells all come alive as Judt takes us from the postwar London of his childhood through Paris, Prague, and points east to New York, where he found his home. Judt brings his moral clarity and wit to bear on everything from fast cars to radical politics and, finally, the devastating illness that took his life. This book, composed when Judt was paralyzed and unable physically to write, found its shape in the ordered rooms of a Swiss Chalet of the mind: a warm refuge in the closing darkness of his final years.

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: In 2008 Tony Judt, the historian and essayist whose book Postwar was quickly recognized as one of the landmark works of our time, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was soon almost fully paralyzed, but before his death in the summer of 2010 he managed to produce not only two works of political and intellectual history, Ill Fares the Land and the upcoming Thinking the Twentieth Century, but also a series of short essays that had a breathtaking reception when they appeared, a few at a time, in the New York Review of Books. The pieces were remarkable both for their content and their method of composition: isolated at night in the prison of his paralysis, Judt would sort through his memories, arranging them, to better remember them, in the "rooms" of a Swiss chalet he recalled from an idyllic childhood visit, before dictating them in the morning to be published. The essays are at times political but always personal, calling up memories of food, youth, sex, education, train travel, and other subjects with a clarity and intensity born of both his historian's skills of observation and judgment and the heightened awareness of time's passage imposed by his undeniable mortality. Collected now in The Memory Chalet, these reflections make up a memoir that evokes, with clear-eyed passion, the life of the mind, as well as the body. --Tom Nissley

About the Author:

Tony Judt was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of European Studies at New York University, as well as the founder and director of the Remarque Institute, dedicated to creating an ongoing conversation between Europe and the United States. He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge, and the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and also taught at Cambridge, Oxford, and Berkeley. Professor Judt was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of BooksThe Times Literary Supplement, The New RepublicThe New York Times, and many journals across Europe and the United States. He is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Thinking the Twentieth CenturyThe Memory ChaletIll Fares the LandReappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century, and Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, which was one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2005, the winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He died in August 2010 at the age of sixty-two.

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year Final reflections on a happy life-from acclaimed historian Tony Judt. Tony Judt s The Memory Chalet is a memoir unlike any other. Each essay brings the smallest details of personal experience into the larger frame of history. Judt s youthful love of a London bus route becomes a reflection on public civility. Food and trains and smells all come alive as Judt takes us from the postwar London of his childhood through Paris, Prague, and points east to New York, where he found his home. Judt brings his moral clarity and wit to bear on everything from fast cars to radical politics and, finally, the devastating illness that took his life. This book, composed when Judt was paralyzed and unable physically to write, found its shape in the ordered rooms of a Swiss Chalet of the mind: a warm refuge in the closing darkness of his final years. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143119975

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