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Remembering Milton Cantor


My dear friend Milton Cantor died in March, a little more than a month from his ninety-seventh birthday.  Milton was one of his generation's finest historians of American legal issues, the author of three major books and the editor of seven more.  His most important books were The Divided Left: American Radicalism, 1900-1975 (1978) and The First Amendment Under Fire: American Radicals, Congress and the Courts (2017).  He taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for forty years (1963-2002).


Beyond these and many other stellar professional accomplishments, Milton is best remembered for his exceptional capacity for friendship.  For more than two decades, he drew together a group of six friends for luncheon conversations every four to six weeks at a local restaurant in Amherst.  As someone fortunate enough to participate in those gatherings, I treasure the memory of the wide-ranging discussions we had of history, politics, and literature and, above all, the laughs that accompanied this good fellowship.  Milton was a rare spirit who will be much missed.


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