Rendezvous With History


Italian journalist and interviewer extraordinaire Oriana Fallaci has succumbed to cancer. In the 1970s Fallaci conducted thrilling talks with men like Yasser Arafat and Ayatollah Khomenei, but since 9/11 she'd hitched her muse to the anti-Islam bandwagon, publishing several book-length screeds against Muslims and Muslim traditions. The new work, while it stiffed in America sales-wise, ignited debate in Europe and on the blogs, and writers who might not have cared about her previous work became almost worshipful of her new stuff. Her final book, La Forza della Ragione (The Force of Reason), assailed the Catholic Church for letting Islam run over Europe; as Nick already blogged, that was a fitting note for her to go out on.

The New Yorker's Margaret Talbot published a profile earlier this year that summed up her recent career. Cathy Young sharply criticized Fallaci 2.0 earlier this year.