I’ve just learned with some shock that Neil Smith has died. I’m still processing the news and I think so will not only geography but colleagues in many disciplines who knew Neil.
I first met Neil while in my very first job in 1992, when he visited Portsmouth University, and although I was very young and largely unknown, he seemed to know about me. We spent some good time down the pub I recall!
I last saw Neil in NYC AAG in February 2012 when I shared a place with him on the author meets the critics panel. In typical Smith fashion, he was completely honest about the subject of the book (Karen Morin’s Civic Discipline) the 19th century AGS Director Charles Daly. Smith liked the book, but excoriated Daly, much to the disgust of Jerome Dobson, current AGS Director, who was also sitting there. (You can see Neil’s remarks in a forthcoming Geographical Review).
Afterward, as we were packing up, and the microphones were moved out of the way, Neil turned to Jerry and whispered “I just want to thank you Jerry…for absolutely confirming that not only the AAG but the AGS is such a reactionary organization!” Jerry huffed and puffed, but Neil had the last word!
I was very glad to know Neil, in however minor a way, and his work on the Inquiry was very central to my own research on Bowman. His passing leaves a huge hole.