I’m so broken up. One down, millions more to go.
Alexander Cockburn, the acerbic left-wing journalist and author who though born in Scotland thrived in the political and cultural battlegrounds of the United States, died on Saturday in Bad Salzhausen, Germany, where he had been receiving medical treatment, his family said. He was 71.
The cause was cancer, said Jeffrey St. Clair, a friend and colleague.
Mr. Cockburn, an often-fierce critic in the columns of Israeli policies in the Middle East, was dismissed from The Voice in 1984 after The Boston Phoenix reported that he had accepted a $10,000 grant from a group that its critics called pro-Arab — David Schneiderman, The Voice editor at the time, suggested that the grant created a conflict of interest.
Mr. Cockburn said he had taken the money for a book project and had planned to return it.
That particular book was never written.
Alexander Claud Cockburn was born on June 6, 1941. He grew up in Ireland and graduated from Oxford. Among his ancestors was Sir George Cockburn, an English admiral who helped burn down the White House in 1814, during the War of 1812.
After Martin Peretz, the publisher of the The New Republic, had a fainting spell in Paris in the late 1980s, Mr. Cockburn gleefully noted that it occurred at an expensive restaurant where patrons were “so bloated that they have to be rubbed down with Vaseline to squeeze through the door.”
Yet when Mr. Cockburn wrote a column drastically revising downward the number of deaths attributable to Stalin, Mr. Peretz suggested that Mr. Cockburn “has a sentimental interest in this controversy but not the credentials to evaluate it.”
An appropriate funeral would be to flush him.