Blogs > Liberty and Power > In Memoriam: Sudha Shenoy 1943-2008

Jun 4, 2008 1:10 pm


In Memoriam: Sudha Shenoy 1943-2008



Julie Novak is reporting at her blog that Liberty and Power's Sudha Shenoy has died after a bout with cancer.  Julie's obituary provides all the relevant information on Sudha and her career.  Sudha was everything Julie says she is and more.  She was truly one of the founders of the Austrian revival. Although she never published with the frequency of many of the rest of the stellar group of young scholars who attended the first revival conference in South Royalton, VT, she was active, including her contributions here at L&P. Her knowledge of history, especially European economic history, seemed endless and her training as an Austrian economist enabled her to see things in that history that others often overlooked.  She was also one of the loudest classical liberal voices against the American imperialism of the last few years.

But above all of that, she was "old school" in all the best senses of the term.  She was a scholar and a gentlewoman, and she was fun to be around.  Last November at a Society for the Development of Austrian Economics session looking back at the early years of the Austrian revival, Roger Garrison told a hilarious story (as only he can) about an early conference in California that included Sudha taking an unplanned dip in the pool.  My own favorite memory is what a good sport Sudha was when a group of us at an SDAE meeting a few years ago decided to go out to dinner at a barbecue place.  It was decidedly not her scene, but she came along, found some things she could eat, and had a great time I think.  It was also one of the few chances I really had to chat with her one-on-one as we sat at the same end of a long table.  It was a great experience.

Rest in peace Sudha and thanks for all that you have done to help put Austrian economics where it is today.


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Robert Higgs - 6/4/2008

Sudha Shenoy's death comes as very sad news indeed. I came to know her only in recent years, but I developed an instant respect and liking for her and her scholarship. She was a unique person in many ways, all of them admirable. Her knowledge of the facts of economic history and the history of economic thought, among many other things, was nothing short of astounding, yet her deep understanding of Austrian economics allowed her to make sense of the surface complexity of the world without being swamped or befuddled by it.

Also a kind, helpful, and courteous person, though a no-nonsense one in debate, she lived a life of serious scholarship and deep dedication to liberty that the rest of us might well seek to emulate. We are fortunate to have had her among us, and her passing leaves a gap that no one else can fill as she did.


Gus diZerega - 6/4/2008

I was saddened to hear of Sudha Shenoy's passing. While our last discussion was over a disagreement, for me any exchange was always in the context of deep admiration for someone who fought the good fight against statism and socialism back when it seemed a futile undertaking. She inspired many of us younger scholars when I was just learning Austrian and Hayekian thought, and her passing leaves a vacancy very few may eventually be able to fill.

A remarkable and talented woman has left us and we are the poorer for it.


Aeon J. Skoble - 6/4/2008

Very sad: and that's 2 L&Pers we've lost this year! :-(


Keith Halderman - 6/4/2008

I very sorry to hear this, we will miss her contributions.


Sheldon Richman - 6/4/2008

Truly. I will miss her.


David T. Beito - 6/4/2008

This is quite a shock. I had wondered what was going on. Her posts were always so thoughtful and came on a fairly regular basis. She will be missed here.


Amy H. Sturgis - 6/4/2008

This is very sad news. Thanks for letting us know.