Tony Judt has died

The New York Times has reported that Tony Judt has died. I have been a regular reader of Tony Judt’s columns in the New York Review of Books and saw him as a guiding light. I was amazed back in April to read his “Open Letter on ALS,” where he described his physical condition to the public for the first time. I found it incredible and still find it incredible that he remained so engaged in the world and provided such intellectual leadership in the depths of Lou Gehrig’s disease. A library science professor I know remarked to me as an aside in an email last month, “The most important book I have read this year is Tony Judt’s Ill Fares the Land.” I don’t often feel anything for a dead celebrity, but Tony Judt was truly a great human being, and the loss is terrible, though we can be thankful that he stayed with us as long as he did given his condition. Ill Fares the Land was just published recently.