About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Passing of Legend: DEP Friedrich Katz

The following obituary was distributed on the H-net service:
Friedrich Katz, 83 years old, of Chicago, died on October 16, 2010, in Philadelphia. Professor Katz was a distinguished scholar of Mexican history, whose major work on the Mexican revolution drew acute parallels with major trends in global historiography. His wide interests extended from the study of Aztec society to an account of Mexico's diplomatic role in World War I. Katz taught at the Humboldt University in Berlin before joining the Department of History at the University of Chicago, where he taught for 40 years. Katz was born in Vienna and raised in Berlin up to the age of six, when his family fled Nazi Germany for Paris. In 1938 the family had to flee again, this time to New York. Unable to gain permanent resident status in the U.S., they found refuge in Mexico, sparking Katz's lifelong interest.
Katz's epic and impressive work on Pancho Villa is quite a legacy to leave, and his Secret War in Mexico will be on reading lists about Mexico for more decades to come. This autumn has been hard on some of the biggest names in the field: First we saw the passing of David Weber, the tragic and shocking passing of Adrian Bantjes, and now the death of one of the greatest scholars of Modern Mexico, Dr. Katz. Of course I never knew any of them personally, but their scholarship has shaped not only my profession but my own personal academic path. D.E.P.

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