Tribute to Anthony Lewis

Posted: March 26, 2013 in Miscellaneous
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Tribute to Anthony Lewis

Anthony Lewis, a giant in American journalism, died yesterday at the age of 85. For more than 30 years he wrote a column twice a week for the New York Times. He wrote principally about law and covered the Warren Supreme Court during the period when it was making many of its historic decisions. He was a beautiful writer who took complex legal arguments and boiled them down to an understandable essence. He gave a certain grandeur to the law without in any way making it inaccessible. A feisty liberal who held the Warren Court in high esteem, he wrote eloquently about it both in the Times and in books the most famous of which is probably Gideon’s Trumpet, which was about was about the court’s Gideon v. Wainwright decision upholding the rights of criminal defendants to have a lawyer. When he retired in 2001 I remember how much I wished that he had been around to hear what he had to say about Bush v. Gore and so much of the shenanigans that went on that seems to violate the Constitution in the name of preserving it. I’m guessing that a lot of people who are reading this tribute don’t even know who Anthony Lewis is and that is sad. He was a great American who had a profound understanding of American law and politics and a way of making what seemingly should have been obvious, actually obvious.

  1. michellemcnallyphotography says:

    Yes you are right, there are many degrees of ‘greatness’ and even more ways in which a person can be great. I personally wouldn’t like fame and definitely not the paparazzi but I do hope I have been kind enough a person for people to say a good word about me when I’m gone. Also I tend to think that most people I meet or ‘talk’ to are great – especially when they show they have time for others and can appreciate their point of view even if they do not agree. Also I think it depends on each persons perspective as to whether someone is considered great; I for one think that Margaret Thatcher was an outstanding woman and did a fantastic job as prime minister (although I do not agree with all her decisions) yet others (like my father) absolutely hate her and everything she stood for. I don’t think that my father can see her for the person she was or her achievements as a woman in a ‘mans world’ and judges her on decisions she made (along with a team of questionable advisors!) and the media representation of her at a difficult time in Britain. Sorry for the babble, I shall stop now, perhaps digressed slightly as I just really wanted to agree with your comment 🙂 Time to get back to being ‘fabulous’ myself – Have a wonderful evening and thank you.


  2. michellemcnallyphotography says:

    Embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard of this writer that you admire so much, perhaps because I’m English, or maybe that’s not a worthy excuse. Besides the point, I do know about him now with thanks to you. It sounds as though he was a fascinating character and it’s nice that people such as yourself appreciated his work. If only we could all exit the world and be remembered for being a great person.


    • beluga53 says:

      I am certain that there are English writers too numerous to mention that I know nothing about and am much the worse for missing out on their voices. In my youth I was lucky enough to have, shall we say it, an interesting and diverse life that gave me a great deal of personal satisfaction and for which I am deeply grateful. I have met enough of those who some consider great to know they are not so different from you and I. In a number of ways, they are often worse than most people although I will not deny them their greatness because they usually have that too. I think that being great too often exacts a very real price that is often not paid by the great man or woman but rather by those around them and that is something to be considered. I wanted to be great when I was younger, but I did not want to pay the price. Basically I did not want to make my job my life. It was a simple choice for me and I have never regretted it. Consider that having a happy life where you have had good neighbors and gone out of your way to help those around you just because you like doing it is just as wonderful as being a “great” person, and as a big, big, plus … you don’t have to put up with the paparazzi!


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