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PostProfessor Ronald Hilton, 1911-2007: Still More Tributes (John Eipper, USA, 02/22/07 10:57 am)
JE: These tributes to Prof. Hilton came in this morning:
From Les Robinson (US):
What a shock to get back from a visit in Phoenix to learn that
Professor Hilton had passed away! One had the impression that he
would live forever. As his body aged one would have expected him to
be doddering but he remained mentally sharp and alert all the way
through his twilight years. When I gave him a forlorn Don Quijote
figurine for his 95th birthday, he joked: "That looks like me!" I
assured him that Don Quijote, like Mr. Hilton himself, never gave up
but was always looking for the next challenge.
I am reminded of George Burns' response to a standing ovation he
received when at 97 he hobbled on to the stage. He noted that usually
such ovations are given at the end of a performance and quipped: "You
must think I won't last that long." Professor Hilton also was made to
know early on that he was held in high regard even as his health began
to fail, but how gratifying even so to read the extensive tributes to
him that have appeared on WAIS since his death.
Ronald Hilton's intellectual insight and experience have been an
inspiration to me for many years, starting with the years when he was
my professor at Stanford so long ago. I am grateful for all the
valuable graduate student experience he gave me as I wrote for and
helped edit the *HISPANIC-AMERICAN REPORT*. He continued to be a
father figure as he abetted my career, and I have further enjoyed
keeping in contact with him through the WAIS forum, where his pungent
comments always delighted. I truly hope that I shall be able to
attend his memorial service at Stanford, where I wish to extend
personally my condolences to the charming Mrs. Hilton as well as to
her daughter Mary and her family.
From Mike DeLong (US):
May LADON, the never sleeping, hundred-headed Dragon, protect the
professor in the garden for eternity.
As the newest WAIS member I was slow to respond to the tragic news
of the Professor passing; but with no less sadness nor condolences. My
father died just a few months ago and the memories are tough. My
thoughts and prayers go out to his family and WAIS members.
From Robert Whealey (US):
To add one more voice to the condolences, I've only known Ronald Hilton
about three or four years. He discovered me when I wrote a review on the
Spanish Civil War. He invited me to join WAIS. I discovered him to be
more liberal than I had been led to believe. I don't know much about Latin
America, but enjoyed Ronald Hilton's insights about Spain, Germany and
Britain in the crucial decade of the 1930s.
I also discovered that a liberal Episcopalian has much in common with a
conservative Unitarian. We both, unlike the militant, certain atheists,
saw that ethics and morality underscores all historical research. The
question for today, is why any American or European would risk his/her life
in the tribal conflicts of the Middle East? The West can buy oil cheaper
than it can be stolen.
When I joined WAIS, Prof. Hilton seemed to be an enthusiastic supporter of
Blair's invasion of Iraq. As time went on, he shifted more and more to the
point of view of the war critics. Debate is the oxygen of democracy.
JE comments: It is appropriate in this message that we have heard
from one of the senior WAISers, Les Robinson, and the juniormost
WAISer, General Mike DeLong, who will forever remain the final person
admitted by Prof. Hilton (just last week). Future members of our
organization will know Prof. Hilton by his legacy and reputation only.
This is sad.
-- For information about the World Association of International Studies
(WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its
homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/
John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA