Walter Berns

I was lucky to be his friend and colleague for many years at AEI.  Like so many of the scholars there, he’d been hounded out of the halls of academe (I often said that if AEI were a university, it would have had the best faculty on earth) and so he was down the hall, writing about the central questions all thoughtful Americans must eventually answer:  from civil liberties to the Civil War.


From time to time he would speak to us–there was an institution known as the “brown bag lunch” that featured a brief spiel from one of us, and then Q & A), and the dining room was always jam-packed.  Whatever he was addressing, the strong message was always the same:  he was a devoted American patriot, he wanted only the very best for the country, and he cared a lot about our future.  He was a good singer, too.

He and I had hip replacement surgery at almost the same time, and he suffered much more than I.  But eventually he got through it (he looked very cool with his walking stick).  He took the annoyance of old age with great humor, and, along with his friends Irving Kristol and Bob Bork, will always be a Ledeen family role model.

He wrote a lot, which is a blessing for us..  You should read him regularly, to remind yourself how a first-class mind and a skilled pen can perform such miracles.  And also to remind yourself how the current academic establishment has so ruthlessly and systematically deprived our young people of some of the very best Americans.


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