Author: Walter Berns

Walter Berns (1919–2015) was a distinguished political scientist, constitutional scholar, and author. Berns was raised in Chicago, where, as late as 1926, he was impressed by “Union soldiers in the [Memorial Day] parade feebly carrying the standard.” After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he enlisted in the Navy before Pearl Harbor and served at sea during the entire course of World War II. After the war, Berns worked as a waiter in New Mexico in hopes of becoming a writer, but soon decide to enroll at the University of Chicago to study for his Ph.D. He has taught at Louisiana State University, Yale University, Cornell University, the University of Toronto, the University of Chicago, and Georgetown University. Berns served on the National Council on the Humanities from 1982 to 1988 and the Council of Scholars in the Library of Congress from 1981 to 1985. He was also a delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2005.

From Making Patriots

Walter Berns

In his 2001 book, Making Patriots, American political scientist Walter Berns (b. 1919) reflects on several difficulties, old and new, confronting the cultivation of patriotism in the American republic, and offers important suggestions for how these difficulties might be addressed.

Lincoln at Two Hundred

Walter Berns
On the two hundredth anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, scholar and author Walter Berns (1919–2015) gave these remarks in Washington, DC as part of the Bradley Lecture Series hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. This speech was the culmination of decades of scholarship on Lincoln by Berns, a fellow Illinoisan who in his youth had watched Civil War veterans parade down Chicago’s streets.