Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daniel Bell Dead at 91

Daniel Bell has died at the age of 91. A prolific writer, prodigious thinker, and provocative public intellectual, Bell left his mark on many aspects of American intellectual and political life. His connection with France is less well known, but he was one of the founders of the Tocqueville Review/Revue Tocqueville and maintained close relations with a number of important French intellectuals. (And his son David is one of the leading French historians in the U.S., who, incidentally, played an instrumental role in launching this blog by publicizing it in the New Republic). I knew Dan Bell for many years, and my family connections go back to before I was born, because my parents-in-law knew both Dan and his wife Pearl in New York intellectual circles in the late 1940s. He will be missed. My condolences to David and to all the family.

There is no more fitting epitaph than Dan's self-description:
“A socialist in economics, a liberal in politics and a conservative in culture.”