Alumnae Bulletin May 2008


Influence of Peter Bachrach

Peter Bachrach, whose obituary appeared in the last issue, is the reason that I and many others majored in political science. I recently had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion honoring him at the American Political Science Association convention in Boston. Thanks to the initiative of Margaret Levi and Judith Baer (both Class of 1968), several former students and colleagues presented their personal and professional recollections of him. Judy moderated the panel that included Margaret, Elizabeth Schneider (also ’68), and three former colleagues of Bachrach from his work at Temple. (He went to Temple after he left Bryn Mawr in 1968.)

Following the panel presentation, audience members shared memories. BMC grad Caren Goretsky Dubnof ’64 said that she was inspired by Peter Bachrach to pursue an academic career. All three of the ’68 panelists agreed that he similarly influenced their decisions. A political scientist from Turkey, who found Bachrach’s work “a breath of fresh air” while studying at Yale, told us that Bachrach’s influence extended all the way to Istanbul. Finally, a professor from Spain noted that Bachrach’s work stood out for her because its analyses were useful beyond the United States.

Three of Mr. Bachrach’s children were also in the audience. When I spoke to them after the session, I enjoyed learning that the man who was perhaps the best teacher I ever had was also a father very much appreciated by his children.

— Nicky Hardenbergh ’68

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