Monthly Archives: August 2010

Around Europe by train and several books

Paris, 1896, and a small crowd sit expectantly, excitedly in a darkened room. A large, heavy steam train pulls in to a bustling platform and the select, seated audience becomes increasingly panicked, convinced the train is headed straight for them. One of the earliest films shown by the Lumière brothers, at a time when the public was only beginning to understand the new medium of motion pictures, Arrival of a train at La Ciotat station captured the excitement that two new forms of technology brought to the nineteenth century imagination; those of cinema and trains. Continue reading

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Tony Judt: A passionate historian remembered

We think we have learned from enough from the past to know many of the old answers don’t work and that may be true. But what the past can help us to understand is the perennial complexity of the questions. (Tony Judt, Reappraisals)

Historian of twentieth century Europe Tony Judt, who died last Friday, will be remembered as one of the most sane, wise and passionate voices of twentieth century intellectual life. Professor of European history at New York University and historian of the twentieth century, his influence extended far beyond the reaches of academe. Continue reading

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