Nat Hentoff, Journalist Who Wrote on Jazz and Civil Liberties, Dies at 91

Through years of turmoil and turbulence, through times of political divisions evoked by the Vietnam War, in eras of social discord and widespread concerns about crime as well as attempts to suppress dissenting voices, Mr. Hentoff was regarded as among the country’s staunchest public advocates of American constitutional guarantees.

In his columns on civil liberties, published in the Voice for a ­half-century and in The Post in the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Hentoff sometimes aroused the ire of many of who might have seemed to be his natural allies in the progressive camp. At the same time, he unabashedly shared, in print, views that were dear to many who might not have expected to find him congenial. For such reasons, a 2013 documentary about his life was plausibly titled “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step.” On-screen he declared, “the Constitution and jazz are my main reasons for being.”

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