Elite Studies and Communist Politics: Essays in Memory of Carl Beck

Elite Studies and Communist Politics: Essays in Memory of Carl Beck

Elite Studies and Communist Politics: Essays in Memory of Carl Beck

Elite Studies and Communist Politics: Essays in Memory of Carl Beck

Excerpt

This book is a scholarly and personal tribute to Carl Beck whose untimely death in 1979 was a great loss to scholarship and saddened all of us at the University of Pittsburgh. Carl Beck's accomplishments in his studies of communist elites laid the foundations for the progress that has been made since. It is evident in this volume to what an important extent the effort has home fruit.

Carl Beck's life project was to contribute to and serve the cumulative progress of social science scholarship. He was a generous man more concerned with the advances of the field than with the search for personal fame. Beyond his substantive contribution to elite research and communist studies, he concerned himself with making knowledge and data available to other scholars to further their work. He had the rare gift to enjoy the accomplishments of others as much as his own. His idea of a social science information utilization laboratory at the University and his founding and editing of the Political Science Thesaurus and information system indicate this style of work.

In 1968, Carl Beck created the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) at the University of Pittsburgh, which it is now my responsibility and pleasure to direct. He had the help of others: Chancellor Wesley W. Posvar, Provost Charles Peake, his codirector Paul Watson, and scores of enthusiastic supporters among the faculty. Yet the design of the Center as the university-wide coordinator of all interdisciplinary international scholarly activities and as the home of all area and major comparative studies was his. His intention was -- and it did succeed -- to help the faculty and the students of the University, the entire institution, to accomplish whatever they were capable of in the international dimension of their fields and to create at Pittsburgh a cosmopolitan university. In addition to his lasting contributions to substantive scholarship, the University Center for International Studies is, I believe, the most important living memorial to Carl Beck.

"Centers" in American universities often are institutes quite iso-

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