Among his many awards is the National Press Foundation Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism, the University of Arizona department of Journalism award for Distinguished Service in Support of Freedom of the Press and the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award for his coverage of the criminal justice system. His popular writing also includes novels for children and adults, biographies and commentaries on jazz, politics and education.
He has been described as "a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights". A journalist and author of several books, his articles have appeared in several US journals, including the Washington Times (see an article about the close relationship between the owner of that newspaper and various right-wing elements in US society), the Village Voice and the Jewish World Review.
Comment on Hentoff's attack on this database
In his column which appeared on 27 October 2003 in the Washington Times, Hentoff attacked this database (Palestine: Information with Provenance). His attack was prompted by his reading this article by Gil Troy. See our comment on Troy's piece -- it will serve as a response to Hentoff.Mr. Hentoff is now well into his 70s. Though he grew up in Boston, his psychology must have been affected by news of the Holocaust. Furthermore, a writer as credible as Chomsky, who is only a few years younger than Hentoff, relates that, as recently as the 1950s, there were traces of anti-Semitism in the Boston area. Thus, it is undertandable that Hentoff may be fearful of anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, it is always disappointing to see how the spectre of anti-Semitism is used to try to smear human rights activists who seek to help improve the lot of the Palestinian people.
Asad AbuKhalil reports (8 January 2017):
Nat Hentoff, dead
I have been reading Nat Hentoff for years but not necessarily with admiration or approval. I have always thought that his stances on civil liberties and foreign policy are wishy washy at best. And as people may become more courageous and outspoken over time, Hentoff becomes less outspoken and less courageous. He was rather critical of the Israeli invasion of 1982 (how much courage does it take to oppose an invasion which managed to massacre at least 20,000 Lebanese, Palestinians, and Syrians in a matter of a few months, really?) and he has criticized repressive "tendencies" of American Zionists on a few occasions. But he was also keen on not breaking with Zionism and Zionists. His comments were always tempered and qualified. But most importantly, this is a man who championed US Bush invasion of Iraq in 2003 and never apologized for it. He became more establishment and less courageous over time. He was certainly more outspoken when I first came to US when he was still at the Village Voice, if I remember correctly. I mean, I accept his stance on abortion but this was not his only inconsistency.