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A Brave Woman

And a great journalist. Oriana Fallaci, rest in peace. Don't know where she'll end up--she was a devout atheist, but unlike many of her (non)religious cohorts, she was able to make the distinction between modern Christianity and the medieval Islamists with whom we are war.

[Update at noon]

Michael Ledeen, who was her friend, has some thoughts. Also, as Monte Davis notes in comments, her book If The Sun Dies is a classic for those interested in space. Perhaps Apogee could do a reprint in her honor, if they could get permission of the estate. And wherever she is now, if she sees Pete Conrad there, maybe she'll finally pay off the bet.

[Update at 5:30 PM EDT]

A more extensive eulogy from Michael Ledeen:

Those who know Italy will recognize Orianna as the quintessential Tuscan, right out of the texts: tough, intellectually brutal, brilliantly and eloquently disparaging of anyone who doesn’t meet impossibly high standards, utterly loyal to “the cause.” Tuscans were the worst fascists and the worst communists, uncompromising, cruel and dogmatic. Happily for us, Orianna’s cause was the pursuit of truth, whatever the political and social consequences. Once considered a fashionable leftists, she positively reveled in her ostracism in later years by her old admirers. She immersed herself in the words of her critics much more than in those of her allies, because she wanted to be able to demolish the criticism. I once spent half a day in her Manhattan town house, deconstructing the attacks against her in the Italian and French press. When we’d been through it all, she laughed happily, and raced to the kitchen to cook lunch.

...Lots of people were surprised to learn that she lived as a virtual recluse in New York City, rather than Florence, but America was a big part of her soul. A real freedom fighter has to love America, and she did, just as she hated America when it failed to meet her high standards. Her writings on America were extraordinary; the words she wrote right after 9/11 deserve to be remembered for a very long time:

The fact is that America is a special country, my dear friend. A country to envy, of which to be jealous…and it is that way because it is born of a spiritual necessity…and of the most sublime human idea: the idea of liberty, or better, of liberty married to the idea of equality…

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In remembrance: Roger Simon, Fausta Wertz, Michelle Malkin, Babalu, Protein Wisdom, Gateway Pundit, Belmont Club, Jawa Report, Kesher Talk, LawHawk, Allahpundit, Transterrestrial Musings, Liberty and Justice An obit by Michael Ledeen, who knew her pers... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 15, 2006 7:06 AM.

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