… at an all-Berlioz concert in his honor in San Antonio, where he had lived for many years.

Jacques Barzun is dead at 104.

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4 Responses to “As recently as May, he gave remarks…”

  1. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    Very sad news. I have read several of his books and hope, someday, to finish From Dawn to Decadence. I guess, my favorite (which appears to be back in print) called Clio and the Doctors, about what he believed the role of the historian was; which is to tell a story. Once you’ve done that you can throw in analysis, but the first job is to get the story right.

  2. Shane Street Says:

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised, maybe relieved is a better word, by the generally admiring obits I’ve seen (e.g., in the NYT). After the rather circumspect defense played by the press after the passing of Hobsbawm, one might have thought the knives would come out for a somewhat culturally conservative historian. That does not appear to be the case, a real reflection of the high regard for Barzun, I think.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Shane: I was pretty amazed by the easy time people gave Hobsbawn.

  4. Shane Street Says:

    Me too. You might think that an unrepentant and totally unreconstructed communist would get a pretty good grilling in the obits. But he was held in pretty high regard, particularly in the UK. In a post-Soviet world the existential threat is gone and scholastic Marxism can seem rather quaint. This appeared to be enough to overcome any squeamishness about his politics.

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