Fred Siegel, 1945–2023
We are sad to announce the death of Fred Siegel, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and longtime contributing editor of City Journal. Fred wrote regularly for the magazine and website for many years, and he also served for a time as editor in the early 1990s. Fred leaves a vital intellectual legacy: his work was central to the renewal of American cities beginning in the 1990s, especially New York, where he was a senior adviser to Rudy Giuliani’s 1993 mayoral campaign and later wrote speeches for the mayor. Fred’s 2005 book The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life chronicled the crucial eight years that saw Gotham restore itself as America’s, and the world’s, leading city. An earlier book, The Future Once Happened Here: New York, D.C., L.A., and the Fate of America’s Big Cities (1997), analyzed the trajectory of these major cities since the 1960s, when what Fred called a “riot ideology” took hold among public officials, making them reluctant to confront public disorder and crime for fear of violent opposition. And more recently, Fred’s sharp analytical eye chronicled how American liberals had abandoned bourgeois values and politics in The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class (2014). Michael Barone called it “stunningly original and convincing.”
Fred was an intellectual force, and he will be greatly missed, not only as a thinker but as a friend. We will be running tributes to Fred on the website this week from those who knew him best. We will also be linking to some of his most significant stories. See below for some of our favorites.
—Brian C. Anderson
Editor, City Journal
V. S. and Shiva Naipaul exposed the contradictions of Third Worldism.
My Political Reeducation
Remembering New York’s 1977 riots, 40 years later
Jul 13 2017
The social and political forces unleashed that year are acting on us still.
Jul 20 2016
Donald Trump and America’s Post-constitutional Politics
The Republican frontrunner arises from the collapse of government legitimacy.
Apr 03 2016
The Riot Ideology, Reborn
Baltimore, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the new racial politics
The Liberal Top-Bottom Coalition
It started with Mayor Lindsay and continues with President Obama.
Who Lost the Middle Class?
A question for historians in the not-too-distant future
Progressives Against Progress
The rise of environmentalism poisoned liberals’ historical optimism.
The Godfather of American Liberalism
H. G. Wells: novelist, historian, authoritarian, anticapitalist, eugenicist, and advisor to presidents
William F. Buckley’s Unmaking of a Mayor
. . . and the making of a national coalition
Mar 03 2008
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