What I first learned about Howard Adelman was that he never slept – at least that is what was said about him in the Student Lounge when I was working on my doctorate in philosophy. A philosophy professor at York University in Canada, he is perhaps better known as the author of several books on refugees, on genocide, on education policy (www.amazon.com), and he’s also as a television producer, parent, and some sort of genius with real estate.
For me he is primarily a rescuer, rescuing my doctoral project when he stepped up to the plate to serve as my adviser. My original adviser, still a friend and colleague, acknowledged that where I was going with film and metaphysics he couldn’t easily follow, let alone direct this research.
When Howard and first met and I already had the draft of a 300 page dissertation. He agreed he’d look at it but couldn’t possibly get back to me with an answer until he returned in a month from a trip to Africa he was taking for the UN. Metaphysics and movies could wait, I quickly agreed. Yet the next morning I opened my email and there was a detailed analysis, chapter by chapter, if the work I’d done to date and where I might want to head with it, including some bibliography, and an assurance that he would help me bring together a new committee including a reknowned professor from New York. Really, the man doesn’t sleep.
Now ten years later as we celebrated Martin Luther King Day and Obama’s inauguration here in the US, Israelis were preparing to vote the next day, and quite possibly changed the course of their history in a choice that give credence to Dr. Kings claim, “The arc of history bends slowly, but it bends toward justice.” Howard Adelman, back in Canada, was analyzing the Israeli election, an analysis I re-posted on the American Catholic Church blog (see “Manna and Social Justice” www.americancatholicchurch.org). Now a week later he promises to turn his attention to the U.S. inauguration and the American left’s tepid response to Obama. I’ve soon this not-yet-posted-but-promising-to-be-insightful piece.
What can I say but … the man never sleeps. Check out Howard Adelman’s blog for yourself. (http://howardadelman.wordpress.com)