Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jacob L. Talman Dies at 64

June 18, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prof. Jacob L. Talmon, a world-famous historian and educator, died here today during open heart surgery at Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital. He was 64.

Born in Rypin, Poland, he studied at the Hebrew University, where he later became Professor of Modern History in 1960, and at the Sorbonne, and at St. Catherine’s College, at Oxford University. He had served as a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

During his studies at the London School of Economics, he served on the British Jewish Committee of Emissaries and in that capacity he often acted as a liaison between Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He also served as secretary of the foreign affairs committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Talmon was a world expert on totalitarian regimes from the period of the French Revolution until the present time. Among his best known books are “The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy,” “Political Messianism — The Romantic Phase,” and “Israel Among the Nations.”

In recent years, Talmon becomes steadily more involved in political activities, siding with a dovish solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. In his last article, published in “Haaretz,” on Passover Eve, he called for the resignation of Premier Menachem Begin. The article was called “The Homeland is in Danger.”

A member of the Israel Science Academy, he received the Israel Prize in the Field of legal and social sciences.

Recommended from JTA