The department has four basic categories: American politics, which has a lot of subdivisions; international relations; comparative government; and political theory and philosophy. And Bob was one of two or three people in political theory and philosophy. They weren’t outriders, but we didn’t have as much interchanging of slots as we do with say comparative and IR. So it was slightly distant and I wouldn’t say Bob was anomalous in the political philosophy section. I would say the political philosophy section was slightly anomalous in the entirety of the Poli-Sci department.

Well, they looked askance at the rest of the world from a slightly elevated position that they had found established for them somewhere in the hierarchy of Chicago education. They were both Straussians and had sort of I would say a kind of funny view of the world, but not a hostile one. I’ll give you one example. John got a ticket for some minor traffic violation. And Bob was — I can’t think he was serious, but in the end I decided he was serious — Bob said that John is above these things and he shouldn’t be penalized. You know that sort of ironic and sort of humorous and sort of, “What’s a matter with this guy?” combination of everything. That kind of thing went on all the time. So it was less than annoying but more than a little ordinary, let’s put it this way.

Fred Greene,
Former Political Science Department Chairman