My name is Troy as in Helen of, said the burly workman. Just don’t call me Helen. Thus begins the work on our north-facing wall. First grind out what remains of the old mortar. Then back fill with new mortar. A huge undertaking that must be carried out on our almost 50 year-old house. Who knew…houses wear out. Everything wears out. Such is the nature of life. —000—
Over the holidays, I have finished my book by Tony Judt, a stellar accomplishment, a history of over 1,000 pages. This work, probably his last major accomplishment before he died is must reading for anyone who wants to understand the past 70 years or so of European history. Amazingly, as Judt was a Marxist scholar and British citizen, the United States come off as a country one can take pride in. He also makes a compelling case for why U.S. involvement in some events, such as the Bosnian War, was a necessity. Meanwhile he completely dismisses communism as a way to govern. Marxist scholarship does not advocate communism.
Reaganites won’t like that Judt assigns Gorbachev the starring role as the catalyst that finally affected the collapse of the corpse known as the U.S.S.R. He also makes it clear that the former client states were not so much longing for a market economy as to once again become part of Europe. Recent news stories indicate that this metamorphosis is still underway. The portending swing toward extreme leftist rule in upcoming elections in Greece is an ominous prospect. Basically, Judt says, Europe tried extreme right-wing and extreme left wing governance in the twentieth century and neither worked.
A great book originally assigned for one of my graduate history classes (Europe since WWII) and my second reading. This time I listened to the audio book, narrated by Ralph Cosham, however.