As many other contributors to this SSRC website have remembered, Chuck was an amazingly productive and generous scholar, continuously sending out critiques, suggestions, reading lists, career advice, and just about everything you could want to improve your understanding of a process or problem. I recall receiving regular packets of hundreds of citations of bibliographies, that I “must” read; emails admonishing me to “address more of the core debates of historians, anthropologists, economists, and political scientists” in my work; and dozens of other pieces of advice that were always right on target.
Many others have commented on his incredible energy and productivity, but he worked harder and longer at his craft than many of us. One time he asked me for “recipes for dinner that took less than 20 minutes to make and eat” because he liked to get right back to work after dinner. This didn’t surprise me. Like others, I have had emails that seem to “bounce right back” to me with long pages of advice. Someone told me once he had a fax machine in his bedroom. I often had images of him, up all night, feeding new book manuscripts into this machine.
Through his relentless efforts and broad sense of purpose, and because of the amazingly broad world of scholars he influenced, Chuck Tilly substantially raised the quality of work being done in social movements/collective action, and in the social sciences more generally. Somehow, with his gentle cajoling and with careful attention to the work we sent him, he got us to do our best work. It’s up to us now to carry on this tradition.