I deeply regret not having spent more time with Alan. The occasions we met were almost entirely confined to the periods he spent in Princeton (where I then lived) as a fellow of the James Madison Program or on research related visits thereafter.
Alan was, of course, an usually gifted and imaginative scholar with an important career ahead of him, but what for me was most distinctive about him was his interest in ideas, pure and simple, rather than as things to be pursued basically for a professional purpose. You could talk with him at length about any historical or political subject without constraint or fatigue, and always with great reward. He was the kind of ideal intellectual companion that you were tempted to have internal dialogues with even when he wasn't present - just a wonderful person to listen to and bounce thoughts off. Alan was also immensely affable, though with a zestfully combative spirit as well, which gave both ease and spice to conversational encounters.
I had planned to have Alan lecture at Texas Tech in the coming spring semester. To hear Alan would have been quite a memorable experience for everyone in his audience and for me as well. I was looking forward to it immensely. How sad it won't happen.
My deep condolences to his mother, all his family, and his colleagues at the University of Florida. Your loss is very great and I share in it.
Institute for the Study of
Texas Tech University
Sorry for your loss, may the God of all comfort, bring comfort to your family. 2 cor:1:3
Pearl, our prayers are with you and your family. We cannot imagine the grief of losing a son. Clearly he was a good son who made you very proud. If there is anything we can do, please call. Dan has been down with a virus all week and we are trying to keep him away from people to keep it confined. Pat and Dan Ferree
My son, Justin Newman, was a student of Dr. Petigny's for two semesters at UF. They became very good friends. Visiting both before and after every class discussing the world we live in. Alan and he had lunch together many, many times over those two semesters. Alan would send Justin off to get pizza, sandwiches or something from the Pita Pit.
Justin is devastated at the loss of his professor and mentor, but most of all his friend. Alan will be greatly missed. We are so sorry for your loss.
I met Alan the same night in 1986 that I met Connie Mack. Later we both worked for him. I read the beginning chapters of Alan's dissertation and they were brilliant. We saw and talked regularly over the years. Alan had so much to give and his loss to his family and friends
deprives us of an original thinker and
wonderful human being. Peter J. Levin