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April 12, 2008

Abe Osheroff, Dead At 92

Robert Jensen did a long interview in 2005 with activist/philosopher/weirdo Abe Osheroff, who was then ninety. Osheroff died last week, and Jensen has written this kind obituary:

As Abe Osheroff’s body slowly began to betray him in his 80s and 90s, one of his favorite lines was, “I have one foot in the grave but the other keeps dancing.”

That dance ended on Sunday, April 6, when the 92-year-old Osheroff died of a heart attack at his Seattle home.

Osheroff is remembered most for his rich life of political activism. From the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War to streets all across the United States, he was a master strategist, energetic organizer, and courageous fighter.

But when I think about a world without Abe, it’s Osheroff-the-philosopher I will miss the most. Conversations with Osheroff typically turned into wide-ranging philosophy seminars — inquiry into the maddening complexity of being human in an inhuman world, focused on the difficult moral and political questions that he always pursued with intellectual rigor and a demand for accountability expected from himself and others. And at the same time that Osheroff was in this relentless pursuit of more knowledge and a deeper understanding, he squeezed all the joy possible out of this life. He taught and he told stories, he learned and he loved, with incredible passion.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at April 12, 2008 04:44 PM