Sidney Rittenberg

By Jerome A. Cohen

Yesterday’s wonderful obit in the New York Times was a balanced presentation of Sid’s long and complex life. I especially liked its references to his experiences on both sides of the scourge of mankind — arbitrary detention. Although, soon after his final release from prison, he and I discussed the prospects for his becoming a consultant to international business and I encouraged him to try, due to Sid’s modesty, I hadn’t realized the extent of his ultimate success. Also see the WashPost fine obit including Sid’s embellishment of a Confucian maxim, “Man who climbs out on limb should listen carefully for sound of saw.” Of course, like so many of us in the China field, I appreciated his contribution, intelligence and insights.