Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Claude Lefort Dies

The philosopher Claude Lefort has died. His influence on two generations of historians and political thinkers, including François Furet and Pierre Rosanvallon, is inestimable. With Cornelius Castoriadis he was the founder of the journal Socialisme ou Barbarie, which began the exodus of French intellectuals from the Marxist marshes. At a lunch before he spoke at Harvard some years ago, he noted with some amusement that many people are confused about the name of the journal, which they mistake to be Socialisme et Barbarie. The person who introduced his lecture then went on to make just that mistake. I last saw him in Grenoble two years ago, when he was the honored keynote speaker at a mammoth colloquium organized by Rosanvallon.

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