Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
- The Wall Street Journal


January 2003

Ivan Illich, 1926-2002

by Anthony Daniels

Ivan Illich, the polyglot Austro-Croatian-Sephardic-Mexican-American philosopher and social theorist, died at the beginning of December last in Bremen, Germany. He had his hour of fame in the first half of the 1970s, when he appeared to be the most radical radical on the market, but afterwards went out of fashion and soon faded both from view and from the bookshops. Among the documents I found during a recent internet search was a plaintive request from an aging devotee for information about Illich’s current whereabouts and activities. The person asking for this information sounded distraught, like a blind man who had lost his guide dog.

Illich was valued during his comparatively short period of fame for the destructive possibilities of his criticisms of almost all the institutions of industrial society, capitalist or communist, in books such as Deschooling Society (1971) and Medical Nemesis (1975). Since th ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

Anthony Daniels's most recent book is In Praise of Prejudice (Encounter Books).

more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 21 January 2003, on page 78

Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion |

E-mail to friend

The New Criterion

By the author

The Congo line

by Anthony Daniels

On “Beauté Congo 1926–2015” at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris.

Coates contra mundum

by Anthony Daniels

A review of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Harper Lee’s loving-kindness

by Anthony Daniels

A few reflections on To Kill a Mockingbird in anticipation of Harper Lee's new book releases.

You might also enjoy

Hemingway & Malraux: the struggle

by Jeffrey Meyers

On the complicated relationship between the writers.

The forgotten story of Richard Krebs

by Jonathan Leaf

Though now largely unknown, Richard Krebs, who wrote under the pen name Jan Valtin, was one of the most successful writers of the 1940s.

Monet’s magpie in the snow

by Jeffrey Meyers

A new interpretation of Monet's great work.

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required


The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll,

Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.

The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.