The news that Lloyd and Suzanne Rudolph had passed away was ad, but not unexpected. They had both been unwell for many ears. Perhaps it was fitting that
they died within three weeks of each other;
their lives and careers had been joined since
they met at Harvard and married in 1952.
The Rudolphs were different from other
political science professors at the
University of Chicago when I was a gradu-
ate student there in the mid-1960s: they
really cared about their students. Lloyd
explained their approach at the time of
their retirement 14 years ago, ‘For four to
six years the people you teach are your stu-
dents, and for the rest of your life they are
your friends and colleagues.’
My relationship with Lloyd and Suzanne
lasted over 51 years. It was because of them
that I became a scholar of the politics of
India. As I wrote in an earlier India Abroad
testimonial, “They shaped careers and
influenced lives.” That was certainly true in
It was my intention to study British politics, the subject of my undergraduate honors thesis, when I arrived at the University
of Chicago in 1964 — the same time they
came to that institution. However, Herman
Finer, who had taught that subject had just
retired. Lloyd Rudolph, who had written a
PhD dissertation on British politics under
the eminent Sam Beer at Harvard, had just
joined Chicago’s faculty, but he was teaching ‘The Government and Politics of India.’
The closest I could get to studying British
politics was to take Lloyd’s course on India.
Lloyd had a very effective means of introducing students to a multiplicity of aspects
about India that laid the foundation for
future research. Our assignment was to
write on a personality, an institution, and
an issue. I wrote on ‘Nehru, Parliament,
and Goa.’ That essay led to my writing two
books on the former Portuguese colony: the
first on the 1961 military campaign that
incorporated Goa into the Indian Union,
and the second on the state’s subsequent
politics after its integration, as well as
dozens of articles on the country’s domestic
and foreign policies, including the role of
the Indian parliament and the United
States Congress in bilateral relations.
Unlike most Chicago political science
professors at the time, the Rudolphs were
completely undogmatic. They did not insist
that students replicate their work or their
methodology. When I approached Lloyd to
supervise both my master’s and doctoral
dissertations, he advised, “Do something
interesting and important and I will sup-
Under his direction I won Fulbright and
Ford Foundation Fellowships to research
my PhD dissertation ‘Neutralism and
National Interests: India’s Foreign
Relations with Egypt and Yugoslavia,’ the
Nehru-Nasser-Tito relationship. It was the
first of 11 research trips to India. My career
The Rudolphs were excellent supervisors
who encouraged their students to publish.
The number of published dissertations on
their office bookshelves was testimony to
their skill as thesis supervisors. Moreover,
they provided opportunities to engage their
students in their own work. A number of
their former students contributed to various editions of Making US Foreign Policy
Toward South Asia (University of Indian
The Rudolphs’ own scholarship was
broad in scope, covering elections, parties,
political economy, ethnic politics, foreign
policy and the influence of Gandhi. Their
seminal works included The Modernity of
Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press 1967) and In Pursuit of Lakshmi
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1987). In 2008, Oxford published three-volume 50-year collection of their articles
entitled Explaining Indian Democracy.
They were also stimulating teachers. They
were a team and many students had the
benefit of working with both of them, either
separately or in courses they taught together.
Susanne Hoeber Rudolph was a mainstay
in the popular Indian Civilization course
where she exposed thousands of undergraduate students to the study of the subcontinent.
She had an illustrious career. She was the
first woman to chair Chicago’s department
of political science and later served as president of the Association for Asian Studies
and the American Political Science
The Rudolphs were generous towards
their students. Suzanne was chair of the
department when I finished and, at her
own initiative, waived all of my graduation
Most importantly, the Rudolphs were role
models — especially for married academic
couples. They entertained every class at
their wonderful home in Kenwood, a practice my wife Janet — also a scholar of India
— and I replicated.
The Rudolphs stayed engaged with their
former students. I recall many late night
gatherings at various conferences. When we
were in Chicago their house was our base in
that city. When they were in Toronto, they
stayed with us.
The Rudolphs were not just great scholars
and marvelous teachers. They were wonderful people. They were unique, but two of
a kind. n
Arthur G Rubinoff is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Toronto.
We always felt a bond with the Rudolphs, We were not intimate friends, but we shared so much.
Our life’s work, to start with, revolved around South
Asia, as theirs did. They made a scholarly contribution few can come close to — our personal favorite
was In Pursuitof Lakshmi.
They were primarily practitioners, but it was cen-
tered on India and the area of which it is the heart.
But more than that, the Rudolphs really shared their
work and their ideas, without ever losing their ability
to contribute individually. That is something we
aspire to in our own personal and professional lives.
Lloyd and Susanne ‘discovered India’ long before
we did, and like all Americans who have been captivated by that country we are grateful to them for their
pioneering work. n
— Teresita and Howard Schaffer, South Asia experts with more than 30 individual years of experience in the region.
The Rudolphs ‘discovered India’ long before we did
The Rudolphs were unique, but two of a kind
The passing of Lloyd Rudolph within
weeks of his wife Suzanne Rudolph marks
the end of an era in India studies in the
US. Professor Arthur G Rubinoff pays
tribute to his professors.
PHOTOGRAPHS COUR TESY: THE RUDOLPHS
Above, Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph in India. Right, the Rudolphs at work in Jaipur in 1971. They first arrived in India in 1956- 1957 and established lifelong ties with the country.