Historian, poet, literary critic and Scot Angus Calder has died at 66. A very sad loss. His book The People's War remains a stand out history of the British home front in the Second World War nearly forty years after it was first published, and his study of how The Myth of the Blitz was created demonstrated an ability, remarkable in academics, to reconsider and improve his own work over time.
It is astonishing to think that The People's War was published when he was only 27. Even if Calder wasn't 'right' in every case the first time around, as he himself acknowledged, it's rare to find a nuance he didn't mention. RIP. Obituaries from the Independent, the Herald, The Times, the Telegraph and, from Bernard Crick, the Guardian. Many of these seem to put Calder as a 'revisionist' from the start, which is an interesting comment on how his work has been perceived by different people at different times.
Reid Mitchell - 7/13/2008
Sitting here in Hong Kong, appropriately roaming the British Empire Angus chronciled, I just heard that Angus Calder died. I was blessed with two great mentors in my youth and Angus was the more important. I want to acknowledge my grief somewhere--and why not here?