A Fine Man Lost


To the editors of the Crimson:

I am sure to express the feelings of all of Rupert Emerson's former students and colleagues in stating my personal sense of loss, and my hope that his extraordinary qualities will long be remembered.

He was a fine scholar, whose books and articles assessed fairly and humanely, without illusions or cynicism, the record of nationalism and imperialism, the legacy of colonial empires, the rise of new nations, the prospects of international organizations. Above all, he was an example of perfect harmony between life and work, character and deeds. He was a gentleman, with a mix of reserve and sensitivity, an utter lack of pretension, a matter-of-fact modesty, a curiosity about all ranges of experience, an attention to other people's thoughts and feelings, an absence of prejudices but not of standards, that made him an inspiration and a model for his students. And he was a kind of surrogate father for many foreign students who found him aware of and sympathetic to their special concerns and anxieties in this vast, busy and often cold University. We loved him-but did not always dare say it to that master of understatement. He embodied the highest values of American liberalism, just as his wife Alla, with her warm good spirits and her wonderful way of telling stories, embodies all that is best in Russian culture.

To those who had the good fortune of knowing this remarkable couple, and of studying or teaching with Rupert, the memory of the thin, tall and quiet man whose door was always open, whose mind was always fresh, and whose kind gentleness was so deeply touching because he was the least self-conscious of persons will remain in our hearts-as an inspiration and, whenever we fail, as a gnawing reproach-as long as we live. Stanley Hoffmann   Professor of Government