Yesterday, an email message on the FOM mailing list alerted me to the availability of a special issue of the journal Logica Universalis in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Jean van Heijenoort. I could not resist reading the contribution entitled Jean van Heijenoort: Kaleidoscope by Anita Burdman Feferman. This 15-page piece is a wonderful read and paints the picture of a personality who must have been truly (much) larger than life. How often does one meet a logician who was a personal secretary to Leon Trotsky from 1932 to 1939, and from then until 1947, an American Trotskyist activist? Not to mention that he also had a love affair with Frida Kahlo to boot and that he was killed by his wife in an act of passion.
The book Politics, Logic, Love: The Life of Jean van Heijenoort by
Anita Burdman Feferman is now firmly on my list of things to read. (You can read a review here.)