One of the last representatives of America's true intellect and knowledge, a gentleman and a real scholar. Stephen Cohen, RIP. I can only refer you all to a profound eulogy by Andrei Raevsky at his blog. 2020 continues with its deadly harvest.
It is with immense sadness that I have to report that Stephen F. Cohen passed away yesterday in his home in Manhattan at the age of 81. There are a few media outlets who have already reported this. Most of them discuss Stephen F. Cohen’s political ideas and his books, which is normal since he was a historian of the Soviet Union. But I won’t do that here. What I want to say about Cohen is something very different. First, he was a man of immense kindness and humility. Second, he was a man of total intellectual honesty. I can’t say that Cohen and I had the same ideas or the same reading of history, though in many cases we did, but here is what I found so beautiful in this man: unlike most of his contemporaries, Cohen was not an ideologue, he did not expect everybody to agree with him, and he himself did not vet people for ideological purity before offering them his friendship. Even though it is impossible to squeeze a man of such immense intellect and honesty into any one single ideological category, I would say that Stephen Cohen was a REAL liberal, in the original, and noble, meaning of this word.
I agree with Andrei (The Saker), we lost a giant. Sad day.