I came to Williams in the fall of 1939 with my bride from Harvard. I left in 1942 right after Pearl Harbor and worked in two or three war agencies in Washington until 1945, and I came back to Williams after the war. I was teaching courses in constitutional law, civil liberties, criminal justice, courses […]

I came in as an instructor [in 1956] and I had some correspondence with Vince Barnett seeking to have a higher rank for what was my third year of college teaching. I hoped to get an assistant professor rank here on joining the Williams faculty but that was delayed for a year. He must’ve been […]

I suspect I was in a kind of minority in that I knew where Bob was coming from philosophically. He was annoying to many faculty members because he was kind of an upstart. I think it was in the same year that Bob came that another young political scientist joined the department, John Rensenbrink. They […]

Well, I don’t think age was a relevant variable. He could’ve been 20, he could’ve been 80. Yes, I mean he was very controversial even then and that was before he was controversial in a political sense. But I think his teaching style, his methodology was threatening to his professional colleagues. The more, I’d say […]

Oh, yes, disciples, yeah. What was the source of that? Partly his need maybe as well for establishing more intimate relations with people. So they were drawn to his personality and I know, for example, sitting in the office next to his, he would talk on and on with his students who would come in. […]

It was clear that he was cultivating a group of bright and eager students and giving them a sense of being special and being smarter than the rest, whereas my own inclination was to try to pull up the below average and not treat them with special kindness. Only students who were ready to work […]

There were a group of us who really enjoyed him, really respected him. I don’t think it was quite a cult. He was a very charismatic personality. He was relatively short, had a glint in his eye—I wouldn’t say handsome but very expressive face and very nice winning smile. And he’d sort of smile and […]

First term my sophomore year, PoliSci 1A or 2A, American politics. Fall of ’57, he had a freshman from my high school outside of Buffalo, N.Y., who was literally hanging on by his fingernails academically. And one of things that really struck me about Bob, since there was some sense, particularly among other faculty, that […]

One of the things I did with Bob we had a so-called honors section in the beginning class and we would go over student lists of those who signed up in selecting them. That’s how I realized how un-elitist Bob really was. There was a strong emphasis on diversity, a term used much more now […]

I suspect there were some elder types who were involved in the decision who raised questions about his judgment. It would be within Political Science, but it would be within a wider circle. I can remember these things because they were the people who were deciding the verdict on me, as well–and of course President […]


Final Note