Fitch was at the end of his life on the faculty of Laguardia College after stints as an organizer, journalist, and independent scholar often living on the fringes of what had become by late century a rather charmless bohemianism. He was, however, by no means obscure having authored what some regard as two classics of radical history, The Assassination of New York and Solidarity for Sale. A memorial brought out approximately 50 friends, admirers and associates to whom Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood delivered an affecting and eloquent remembranceof Fitch’s life and work. What came as a bit of a surprise to those unfamiliar with Fitch’s role in the left culture of New York City were the questions which followed: most were, to a greater or lesser degree, hostile, criticizing Fitch’s work as divisive and accusing him of functioning as de facto ally of capital.
Neil Smith, who has died aged 58 of liver failure, brought a new dimension to geography by exploring the relationship between cities, the wider world and capitalism. If we want to understand the economic system’s workings, he argued, then we have to understand the spaces that make its existence possible. And if we want to live in a saner environment – natural and built – we need to revolutionise the ways in which it is produced.
Dolores Prida, a Cuban-born journalist and playwright who wrote candidly and wittily about local and national politics, romance and other personal matters, and the joys and vexations of the Hispanic experience in America, died early Sunday in Manhattan. She was 69.
Ralph G. Martin, a best-selling author of political and celebrity biographies whose subjects included the Kennedys, Golda Meir and Winston Churchill’s mother, died on Wednesday in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. He was 92.
Isaias Lerner, an internationally acclaimed specialist in Miguel de Cervantes who taught for more than four decades at the City University of New York, died of lung cancer in Manhattan on January 8.
Ada Louise Huxtable, who pioneered modern architectural criticism in the pages of The New York Times, celebrating buildings that respected human dignity and civic history — and memorably scalding those that did not — died on Monday in Manhattan. She was 91.