Friday, March 02, 2012

James Q. Wilson (1931-2012)

Ken Kersch

I am sad to report that the great political scientist James Q. Wilson died this morning at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center here in Boston.   I came to know Jim personally over the past few years when he returned to Boston from his native California to be nearer to his family -- and Fenway Park.  Through the good offices of my political science department colleague Peter Skerry, Jim joined the constitutional democracy center I directed here as a senior fellow.  Many of my political science department colleagues had been students of Jim's in the Harvard Government Department.  Jim's mind was remarkably direct, penetrating, ordered, and insightful.  I also found him to be an unusually grounded and decent human being.  He will be missed.

For those in other fields who may have been less familiar with Jim's career, I provide a brief appreciation, by way of a review in the Claremont Review of Books of a recent collection of his essays, written by my colleague Shep Melnick.   I also provide a link to his many highly influential articles that were published over the years in The Public Interest and Commentary magazine.

My condolences to Jim's family, and his many, many students and friends. 

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