Odd, how life works. I was in a happy state that Harry Jaffa would celebrate his 93rd birthday on the 7th, and on that day I heard that Harold W. Rood died the day before. He was my second teacher in Claremont; not as old as Jaffa, about my mother's age. He taught international relations, national security affairs, and had been at CMC since about 1962. I'll let someone else tell the historical details--how dozens of "political philosophy" students ended up studying with this untheoretical man, of his many virtues, of this man's good life--I just wanted to say something about his one great virtue.
This entirely American man--loving and kind and sweet--was a great teacher. He was a great teacher unlike Jaffa. Rood didn't test the logos in the same way, he didn't simply grab the truth as it revealed itself in front of him. Rather, he talked and the story came out about how men wanted to live rather than die, and what they may then do, and why that is always so. He was able to portray things outside of our experience in such a way that we could see the shining stars above to be the same as the shining campfires in the soldiers' tents below. Rood was a great poet. He was able to talk about anger or love in such a way that showed us what it was like to be in anger and to be in love. He did the same with his love of country. He seduced us this way into thinking, and we loved it and we loved him for it. No one will ever forget the experience of being with him in a classroom. May he Rest in Peace.
Update: Over at Power Line, Steve Hayward, another Rood student, writes a fine post on the good professor.