To the Editors:
I much regret my erroneous assertion in my review in the October 21 issue that Sir Tony Wrigley of Cambridge University is not alive. Quite the contrary: he is merely retired, as I am myself.
I falsely inferred his death from the fact that his name was bracketed with those of two departed scholars in the dedication at the beginning of Robert W. Fogel’s book The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death. This is inexcusable since Fogel’s dedication reads:
To Sir Tony Wrigley
and the memory of D. Gale Johnson and Peter Laslett
whose works have greatly influenced
my approach to many of the issues
discussed in this volume.
I apologize to Sir Tony and to readers of The New York Review. Hasty misreading of a text is not what a reviewer ought to do.
William H. McNeill
November 18, 2004