Friday, December 31, 2010

In Defence of Marty Peretz

In defense of Peretz: Who in blog land is like him today with such a warts and all sensibility? The mistake is not to take him all in all and so not see the good and great for the bad and worse.

The good: smart, widely read, widely studied and learned, widely lived, widely associated with so many of so much deserved eminence, a spit in the eye of political correctness, asking no quarter in the giving of no quarter, in your face fearless in stating without equivocation what he thinks and feels for better and for worse, a lightning rod of provocativeness, bellicose but engaging in a larger than life way, passionate, stimulating and never tedious, marked by liberal and compassionate impulses and widely, wildly diverse interests, getting what you see and hear, beloved and feted by his students, outsized generosity, now teaching kids in Israel, alarmed by the right wing trends there as evident in last pieces on Jonathan Pollard and before on Avigdor Lieberman.

Know him by his accomplishments. Know by his modest self-deference in the better interest of TNR. Know him by the mighty careers he helped launch. Know him by his friends. Know him by knowing that you won’t soon see his like again. Not to enfold his warts, which he wears like a badge of honor, into the wholeness of the man, not to see past his political incorrectness, is to miss a sum that is so much greater than sum of its bad and worse parts.

I rest my case

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