Ill Fares the Land  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Judt's last book to be published during his lifetime, Ill Fares the Land, projected lessons learned forward, challenging readers to debate "what comes next?" The book made the case for renewed social democracy; it received mixed reviews.

Written under the debilitating effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Ill Fares The Land (2010) has been described as Judt's "most overtly political book" and a "dramatic intervention" in the decline of the progressive ideals of the 20th century. Judt lamented the breakdown of the post-war Keynesian policy consensus as well as the rise of neo-liberal economics with its political manifestations under Thatcher, Reagan, and others. In analyzing the limited success achieved by Third Way triangulation and the paradoxical resurgence of unfettered capitalism after the Global Financial Crisis, Judt described the recent past as "lost decades" marked by "fantasies of prosperity". The missing reward from modern government has been social progress, and Judt explored how the social contract which had defined the postwar world—with guarantees of security, stability, and fairness—was no longer considered a legitimate social goal. He concluded his book with a "passionate appeal for a return to social-democratic ideals."

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