Death is a good time to be acknowledged. This is only sensible: your death is an occasion to remind people what you may have accomplished in life. It serves as a coordinating mechanism, a reason, or an excuse for people to devote air time to talk about you, do a eulogy, or recap your legacy. Death is also a good time for people to dedicate their books to you.
I come to this shatteringly obvious conclusion after picking up two books not thematically related yet dedicated to the same person. Mann and Orstein’s The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track is dedicated “to the memories of the two great legislators who understood: Barber Conable and Pat Moynihan”, while Michael Lind’s The American Way of Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life includes the dedication, “in memory of Daniel Patrick Moynihan 1927-2003″.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a US politician and scholar. Both of the above books dedicated to him were published in 2006 and presumably started some years earlier, close to the time of Moynihan’s death in 2003. Mr. Moynihan sounds like an overall impressive person who may have had books dedicated to him even during his life time. Yet, this fact notwithstanding, his death results a flurry of acknowledgements of his life.