PS: Political Science & Politics


Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale and APSA Congressional Fellow in Inaugural 1953–54 Class H. Bradford Westerfield Dies at 79

Jeffrey  Biggs  a1
a1 Director, Congressional Fellowship Program

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On January 19, 2008, long-time APSA member and Damon Wells Professor Emeritus of political science at Yale University H. (Holt) Bradford Westerfield died from complications of Parkinson's disease in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. He was 79. Douglas Martin's obituary in the January 27 issue of The New York Times provided a full account of his illustrious career, the details of which do not need to be repeated here. The APSA archives would not, however, have included the fact that over four decades of teaching at Yale, from 1957 when he joined the faculty as an assistant professor of international relations until his retirement in 2001, Professor Westerfield's largely undergraduate classes attracted some 10,000 students. Those classes included President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Senators John Kerry and Joseph I. Lieberman, and other public officials who “… cited his influence in framing their approach to public policy. Mr. Cheney repeatedly said Dr. Westerfield helped shape his hard-line approach to foreign policy. But an article in The Nation in 2004,” noted Martin, “reported that Dr. Westerfield came to regret the hard-nosed lessons Mr. Cheney said he had learned. Dr. Westerfield explained that his own politics had become much more dovish since.”