This is the ‘50s and we had a variety of professors, Hans Morgenthau in global politics and of course Leo Strauss and David Easton. They were both theoreticians. Anyway, I was just coming from a year in Amsterdam where I had a Fulbright grant and the first couple of months were kind of lonely. And Bob and I sort of took a fancy to each other quite soon in terms of our ideas. I remember seeing him in one of the hallways. I guess we talked of intellectual integrity. That’s what we were looking for. We were looking for wholeness in life and integrity. I remember that moment in the hallway between classes, or whatever. I knew something had passed between us that we both understood what each of us meant by that.

So those years, four years, [1951-1955] were a really exciting time on the campus. Well, [Sen. Joe] McCarthy was still there. I remember walking the streets and seeing people hanging from the porches watching the TV set and the Army conducting hearings. Eventually Bob and I and Clark Bouton and Dick Staveley, we rented a big house and we lived together.

He had sort of almost a ruthless intellectual power and I don’t mean ruthless in a bad sense. It’s just that he was really able to focus in the whole context on the modern intellectual stimuli. He was able to focus on the most important rather than the less important and I was impressed with it. Of course, I was also caught up in his ebullience. He would slap his knee and so on.

John Resenbrink,
University of Chicago graduate school classmate and early Williams College faculty colleague