H. Bradford Westerfield: Influential Yale Professor, Is Dead at 79

H. Bradford Westerfield, a Yale political scientist whose courses attracted 10,000 students, mostly undergraduates, among them President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, died on Jan. 19 in Watch Hill, R.I. He was 79.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his son, Leland Avery Westerfield, said. H. Bradford Westerfield lived in Watch Hill and Hamden, Conn.

Dr. Westerfield’s former students in four decades of teaching, who also included Senators John Kerry and Joseph I. Lieberman and assorted cabinet officers, White House advisers and intelligence officials, often cited his influence in framing their approach to public policy.

Mr. Cheney repeatedly said Dr. Westerfield helped shape his hard-line approach to foreign policy. But an article in The Nation in 2004 reported that Dr. Westerfield came to regret the hard-nosed lessons Mr. Cheney said he had learned. Dr. Westerfield explained that his own politics had become much more dovish since advocating uncompromising anticommunism in classes Mr. Cheney attended, transformed in large part by America’s troubles in the Vietnam War.

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