Writer Jonathan Schell Is Dead

The American writer Jonathan Schell died last night, of cancer, in his home in Brooklyn. Although I doubt he would have put it this way or even thought of himself this way, he was a luminous, noble, bearer of an American civic-republican tradition that’s inherently cosmopolitan and embracing but that draws on deep wellsprings that he knew, like few others, how to plumb. 


From his beginnings as a brave young Vietnam War correspondent for The New Yorker,  and his meticulous yet sweeping case for nuclear disarmament in The Fate of the Earth through his magisterial re-thinking of the both state power and people’s power in The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People , as well as in his wry but rigorous assessments of politics for The Nation, Jonathan poured the best of a distinctively American, progressive tradition – and, it seemed to me, of a WASP cultural sensibility, about which he was ambivalent and  humorously self-deprecating – into the transracial, global civil society whose future is dimmed a bit by its loss of what would have been Jonathan’s continuing  insight, magnanimity, and love.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.