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Honoring Professor Gerhart Niemeyer

January 3, 2022

Gerhart Niemeyer Memorial Volume

At a time of crisis in American higher education, En Route Books and Media has offered to memorialize Gerhart Niemeyer’s personal influence and his works in a book of previously published essays.

In the mid-50s, the University of Notre Dame was “home” to émigré scholars from East and Western Europe who were expelled from their countries during WW II. 

What was Europe’s loss was America’s and the University of Notre Dame’s gain and American scholarship was enriched by their presence. Waldemar Gurian, Eric Voegelin, István Kertész, Gerhart Niemeyer and others on the Faculty from 1950-1970 “made” Notre Dame’s Government Department.

That time, also, coincided with the beginning of the American conservative movement and Gerhart Niemeyer joined Bill Buckley, Russell Kirk and others in writing fortnightly columns in National Review. Even back then, that close an association with “conservatism” was frowned upon in Academe. Their students from that era, however, enriched scholarship, American politics and Catholic higher education.

During his tenure at Notre Dame, the Soviet Union threatened the United States with a “Cold War” and the American nation sought understanding of Communist Ideology.  Dr. Niemeyer met that need with important essays and publications about Soviet Communism and challenged his students with a rigorous two semester course on Communist Ideology.

A Civil Rights movement began to challenge inequalities imposed on African-Americans by slavery and post-Civil War Reconstruction and required steady and reasonable responses by activists, advocates of “States Rights” and the U.S. government. Stanley Parry and Gerhart Niemeyer developed a strategy for the Eisenhower Administration to address the demands for full civil rights of African Americans.

The recovery of ancient Greek philosophy had begun in the work of Bruno Snell, Werner Jaeger, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss, and Gerhart Niemeyer was a participant in the recovery of classical political  philosophy.

Gerhart Niemeyer was a participant in all these developments in mid-Twentieth Century America and attracted generations of students who wanted to understand the crisis of their times and participate in recovery of political and personal order

Content of Published Essays:

Gregory Wolfe, Discerning the Spirits. Gerhart Niemeyer as Culture Critic, Theimaginativeconservative, March 4, 2020.

Dr. John Willson, “Gerhart Niemeyer, Refugee,” The Imaginative Conservative, 1.30.2014

Dr. John Gueguen, “A Student’s Teacher: Gerhart Niemeyer,” Political Science Reviewer, Fall,  1998 – Vol. 27, No. 1

Dr. Michael Henry, “The Wisdom of Humility: Gerhart Niemeyer’s Recovery of Political

Theory” Political Science Reviewer, Fall, 2002, Vol. 31, No. 1.

Dr. Angelo Codevilla, “Thank You, Gerhart Niemeyer,” University Bookman, 5.5.2013

Dr. Robert Smith, “‘Love Divine’: Remembering Gerhart Niemeyer,” University  Bookman, 2.23.2014

Dr. Michael Henry, “The Presence of a Teacher,” University Bookman, Spring 2008

Dr, Richard Bishirjian, Conservatism and Spiritual and Social Recovery, Voegelinview, October 25, 2018.

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