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Holt Bradford Westerfield (March 7, 1928 - January 19, 2008) was a Damon Wells Professor of International Studies and professor of political science at Yale Universitymarker.

In 1953, as one of the first in Congressional Fellowship Program of the American Political Science Association (APSA), Westerfield worked in the office of Congressman Lawrence Brooks Hays (D-Arkansasmarker) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

In 1970, Westerfield was elected as chair of the Political Science Department. At this point in his development, he was a self-styled "hawk" in terms of the on-going Vietnam War; but he considered himself a moderate consensus builder in matters relating to the Yale faculty and his own department. Westerfield considered Yale a comparatively quiet place compared with the tensions which were wrenching apart other faculties in the leading American universities of that period; and his strategy for building consensus encompassed an emphasis on scholarship, academic competition, and professional prestige of the department.

Influential teacher

Westerfield was credited by Vice President Dick Cheney with having helped shape Cheney's views on foreign policy during Cheney's days at Yale. Cheney's political views were informed by course he took from Westerfield, then a self-described ardent hawk who believed the United States should be assertive in its role as the leader of the free world. However, Westerfield's views were modified over the course of time, and he came to characterize the Bush administration's foreign policy as "precisely the wrong approach."

Westerfield's legacy as a teacher was more subtly confirmed in a Yale course description prepared for the Spring 2009 semester. Yale's Politicial Science department offered a seminar on American foreign policy modeled on Westerfield's graduate course.


  • 1955 -- Foreign Policy and Party Politics: Pearl Harbor to Korea. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • 1963 -- The Instruments of America’s Foreign Policy, Boston: Crowell Press.
  • 1972 -- The Poverty of Theory and Other Essays, Princeton.
  • 1981 -- English Prisons and Local Government, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • 1995 -- Inside the CIA’s Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency’s Internal Journal, 1955-92. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Honors and Awards


  1. Martin, Douglas. "H. Bradford Westerfield, 79, Influential Yale Professor," New York Times, January 27, 2008.
  2. Cikins, Warren I. (2005). In Search of Middle Ground: Memoirs of a Washington Insider, p. 52.
  3. Merelman, Richard M. (2003). Pluralism at Yale: the culture of political science in America, pp. 46-47.
  4. Merelman, p. 94.
  5. Merelman, p. 145.
  6. Carney, James et al. "7 Clues To Understanding Dick Cheney," Time. December 30, 2002.
  7. Nichols, John. "A Little Education Can Be a Dangerous Thing," The Nation. August 26, 2004.
  8. Yale University, Political Science Department: Roy Licklider. March 2, 2009.
  9. Steiner, H. Arthur. "Foreign Policy and Party Politics: Pearl Harbor to Korea by H. Bradford Westerfield" (Book review), The Pacific Historical Review, 24:4, 427-428, November 1955.
  10. Mansfield, Edward D. et al. (2004). The Evolution of Political Knowledge: Theory and inquiry in American politics, p. 165.
  11. "Westerfield and Gaddis awarded DeVane Medals by Phi Beta Kappa," Yale Bulletin and Calendar, 31:29. May 9, 2003.


New York: Devora Publishing. 10-ISBN 1932687467; 13-ISBN 9781932687460; OCLC 79428957

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