Yes, sometimes I still offer strong criticisms of published work, both by academics and other writers. Sometimes I say critical things in classes about the work of other scholars. Intellectual life shouldn’t be a pollyanna parade or a group hug. But neither should criticism be a habit, nor should we casually arrive at judgments about the character of other professionals from a critical reading of the work they produce. (One of my other graduate professors taught me that: an awesomely talented historian who was also a jerk.) Ad hominem is more than a logical fallacy, it’s a bad way to live. The emotion I want to feel first as an intellectual is passionate joy: what a world we have, in which there is so much to know and read and say and think.