"Those damn Americans" were the first words out of his mouth after reading an article about U.S. intervention in Iraq. This was my introduction to Walter Fairservis, a large striking figure with thick white hair and bushy black eyebrows. Although my relationship was brief, it has had a lasting influence on my view of the world.
Prior to his death last July, Mr. Fairservis had been a well-known and highly respected professor of anthropology and Asian studies at Vassar College for 25 years. I became aware of this intellect through his reserved, but warm character. He had been an actor, director, producer, scholar, playwright, linguist and author of scores of books. He was the epitome of the Renaissance Man, though his motives were altruistic. He achieved more in one lifetime than most people could in three.
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