It was a leisurely drive up from green and ocher Catalonia through the border town of Port-Bou to Paris, where I had an approximate date to visit Willmoore Kendall. I had read much of what he had written and arrived at the view that he was an extraordinarily astute political theorist, but he also turned out to be the most drastic personality I had ever met. I never met Nietzsche, of course, or Thorstein Veblen or Charles Sanders Peirce, but you get the idea. Not surprisingly, there are characters based on him in a novella by Saul Bellow and in novels by Sidney Zion and Bill Buckley.

As I drove across France, I was well aware of the Kendall legend. He had been a young Rhodes Scholar, a disciple of Leo Strauss, and had early written an important book on John Locke and majority-rule theory. Taken on with tenure in the Government Department at Yale, he had been a powerful influence on some of the best students there, including Bill Buckley....


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