The Hungarian-born anti-communist scholar, Paul Hollander, for many years a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), passed away last week.
As Lee Edwards writes at Law & Liberty:
[Hollander] came by his anticommunism naturally, having been born in communist Hungary and escaped following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 with only the leather jacket on his back. After earning degrees at the London School of Economics and Princeton, he taught at Harvard before settling in at UMass Amherst to teach political sociology.
At City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple writes:
The clarity of his prose was obviously a reflection of the clarity of his mind, but clarity did not exhaust his intellectual virtues. He was always intellectually honest, but he also seemed to possess an almost effortless originality of mind, such that, as anyone who was in his company would soon have noticed, he could say something on any subject that had the quality of being both obvious and revelatory — one felt foolish for not having thought of it oneself.
Hollander was often cited, particularly in conversations with libertarians, classical liberals, and conservative scholars (that is, those who best understand the threat of collectivism). It is clear from conversations, and from the two tributes referred to above, that Hollander was widely admired, earning the respect and affection of generations of students and colleagues. Were it not for the postponement of a recent planned trip to the U.S., one of our editors would have had the honor of meeting Hollander in his adopted hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts.
Alas, things did not work out — and, as with many things, we are now filled with regret for having postponed that trip.