improve upon George Will's eloquent
tribute to James Q. Wilson, who died on Friday at the end of four score
years. As Will says, Wilson was the premier social scientist of the past half
century. He was a close friend and colleague of my own mentor, the late Daniel
P. Moynihan. (At Pat's funeral, it was Wilson's arm on which Liz M. leaned.)
like to read a second terrific tribute, read Pete
actually took a course from Jim Wilson, but he was indisputably one of my most
influential teachers, whether over drinks at the Moynihans' or at any of a
hundred conferences or in the pages of his many books and innumerable articles,
very nearly every one of which was worth reading at the time and will endure
for a long time. These were not (like today's blog posts) "of the moment."
They were for the ages.
the two most formative journals of my life, Commentary
and The Public Interest, would not
have been the intellectual and policy powerhouses that they became—in many
lives and many places—without Wilson's frequent appearances in their pages.
(If you want to see an astounding oeuvre, check out http://www.commentarymagazine.com/james-wilson-archive/.
And that's just Commentary.)
His contributions to
America's vitality—and sanity—deserve to be celebrated. And his absence to be