Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I am sad to report that Middle East scholar, Louis Cantori, has died. I read it in Al-Quds Al-`Arabi before I had a chance to see it in a US newspapers. I was not a close friend of Lou but I have known him for years, since my graduate school days in Washington, DC. He was a kind and supportive person, and was very encouraging of new scholars in the field. He was very patient with students, and I know that his graduate students at Georgetown (where he taught as adjunct for years) really liked him. He served in the Marines and there was an aspect of his personality that reflected that: he argued strongly and forcefully, and was often frustrated with US Middle East policy. He also spoke like a commanding officer. Last time I saw him he was most frustrated at US media (and even academic) references to neo-conservatives. He, as a graduate of the University of Chicago, believed that they all got it wrong when they stressed the influence of Leo Strauss when it was Albert Wohlstetter who was the biggest influence on the neo-cons. I wonder what he thought of Anne Norton's fine book, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire.