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Brian Crozier, 1918-2012

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Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, 9:32 p.m.

Many of you likely have never heard of Brian Crozier. More's the pity. For Mr. Crozier, who died Aug. 4 on his 94th birthday, was one of this nation's most important educators.

No, Crozier wasn't a teacher, per se. But he was a teacher nonetheless. In fact, he was a teacher extraordinaire.

The native Australian began his career as a music and art critic. Then he began a long and storied tenure as an international correspondent, first with Reuters in the Far East. He later would write for The Economist and National Review, among many others.

Crozier did what reporters do best — shine the bright floodlight of clarity on leaders and issues of the day and then always in a prose that, as he put it, “was accessible to the ordinary” reader.

Crozier's insightful reporting was years ahead of the pack. He exposed the horrors of Lenin and Stalin and detailed how misguided were the efforts to live with Communism. Detente, he showed, only emboldened the spread of Communism, undermining leaders and nations all too willing to go along to get along.

So deep were Crozier's sources and so accurate was his information that he became a de facto intelligence agency for British and U.S. leaders during the Cold War. As another legendary journalist, John O'Sullivan, put it, he did “more than most to bring about the collapse of Communism, and when it happened, it confirmed the truth of his brave and often unpopular criticisms.”

Which makes Brian Crozier a hero in our book.

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