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