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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 26, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 27
Obituary: Patrick McCarthy, Professor of European Studies at SAIS Bologna

Patrick McCarthy in a photograph from the mid-1980s.

Patrick McCarthy, one of the Bologna Center's most prolific, respected and renowned professors, died in his sleep on March 22 after a long fight with Parkinson's disease. He would have been 66 on March 28.

McCarthy's career with SAIS' Bologna Center began in 1977, when he was named an associate professor, a position he held until 1979. He returned to the Bologna Center in 1986 and was named resident professor of European studies in 1988, a position he held until 2001. He was most recently research professor of European studies.

McCarthy's expertise ranged from all aspects of Western European politics to the sociology of sports. Fluent in four languages, he wrote on French and Italian politics for European newspapers and penned regular reviews for The Times Literary Supplement.

David Calleo, University Professor and the Dean Acheson Professor and Director of European Studies at SAIS, describes McCarthy as "a supremely gifted teacher and highly creative scholar."

"His linguistic talents, his broad range of interests — from political novels to political economy — were always combined with rigorous self-discipline, an underlying moral balance, an unquenchable sense of humor and irony, and a durable capacity for outrage," Calleo said. "These were the qualities that made him a particularly insightful and forever fresh analyst of contemporary Europe and America. They were also the talents needed to create an interdisciplinary program like our own. His ardent spirit and generous talent infused all of us who taught and studied in the European program. Today, Patrick's own students keep his noble legacy alive."

One of those who studied under McCarthy is John Harper, resident professor of American foreign policy and European studies at the Bologna Center. "I first met Patrick in 1969, when he taught me French literature at Haverford," Harper said. "He was a mentor, a colleague and a friend, the person more than any other who inspired me to devote myself to teaching and writing. There was no more valuable commodity to me than his praise."

McCarthy received his doctorate with first-class honors from Oxford and for several years taught at Haverford College in Pennsylvania as well as at SAIS in Washington. He also held teaching appointments at Vassar College and Cornell and Cambridge universities.

He wrote or edited more than a dozen books, whose subjects included Celine, Camus, the crisis of the Italian state, relations between France and Germany, and a post-war political history of Italy. Recent works include France-Germany, 1983-1993, Italy Since 1945, France-Germany in the Twenty-First Century and Language, Politics and Writing: Stolentelling in Western Europe.

The Bologna Center recently honored McCarthy by naming a classroom after him, made possible through funds donated by former director Ambassador Stephen Low and his wife, Susan.

McCarthy is survived by his wife, Veronica Pye, who directs student and academic services at the Bologna Center, and their daughter, Kate.


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