I met Professor Wolfram Eberhard in Taiwan in 1967who offered me a research assistantship to study with him. For the next 6 years, I focused my study mainly on comparative sociology under Professors Eberhard, Smelser, and Swanson. It was not an easy time during the late 60s and early 70s for a student like me coming from a different country; Berkeley was a normless community.
Robert Boggs joined the Near East South Asia Center for StrategicStudies at National Defense University in August 2008, after serving 32years in the State Department as political officer and intelligenceanalyst. During his career he become one the State Department's mostexperienced specialists in South Asia, having served in India (nineyears), Sri Lanka and Nepal. In New Delhi he headed the embassy'sPolitical Section and in Calcutta the U.S. Consulate General. InWashington he served as Pakistan desk officer and as director of theOffice of South Asian Regional Affairs.
Berkeley, for me, was the late 1960s and early 1970s. My earlier undergraduate experience in Canada was an inspiring trip through the classics, and the movements, guided by a unique constellation of European and American scholars, temporarily gathered in British Columbia. Berkeley was a continuation, but with a tough political and academic edge. At one level, Berkeley was People's Park across the street, and Vietnam etched in veteran eyes. At another, grand theory was in decline, and big narratives were beginning to surface.
Published in the Chicago Sun-Times: