History of Lloyd & Susanne Rudolph


This wonderful house came into the Rudolph family in 1960. Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph first came to Vermont in the 1950s and stayed with their good friend and colleague Carol F. Miles on Smith Hill. Each summer, they wrote, hiked, swam, entertained, watched their three children grow. Lloyd and Susanne became part of the Barnard community. They were active in the Barnard Silver Lake Association and protection of Silver Lake, measuring it for water quality for many years. They served Indian meals at the Barnard General Store "Karmic Café" in the 2000s.

Susanne and Lloyd were avid followers of the literary history of Barnard, and their efforts to memorialize Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis, and Alice and Carol Zuckmayer drove their interest in projects they helped support like the Dorothy Thompson Commons around the Barnard General Store, and the preservation and transportation of Sinclair Lewis sugar house so that it could be relocated from Twin Farms to the Commons.

The Rudolphs were India scholars who first traveled there in 1956 in a bold journey, driving overland from Germany to Delhi in a Land Rover.  That adventure was recounted in one of their last books, Destination India (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2014). On this first visit to India they spent several months in Jaipur and the surrounding area, developing an interest in and love for Rajasthan that would bring them back frequently.  After this 1956-1957 sojourn they returned to India every fourth year, bringing their three children with them. Jenny, Amelia and Matthew all grew up loving Indian culture, the Himalayas, Rajasthan, and Hindi.
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The Rudolphs joined the Harvard faculty upon their return from that first trip to India where they remained there until 1964, when they were appointed to the University of Chicago political science faculty.  It was even more unusual then than it would be today for a husband and wife both to be appointed to tenure track positions at the same university, in the same department, at the same time.  They published over 20 books and dozens of articles in addition to co-authoring eight books together.

Susanne and Lloyd’s marriage in 1952 launched an exceptional personal and professional partnership that endured for more than six decades.  Because they wrote and published together and often taught and lectured together, they were mostly referred to in a single collective noun: “The Rudolphs.”  

Aside from their academic work, the Rudolphs were revered for their hospitality, which epitomized their thoughtful, caring approach to their students, colleagues, research subjects and friends. The two regularly hosted interesting guests over generous meals that ranged from a quiet, elegant French dinner for four at their large, old Chicago house, to parties for more than a hundred featuring fine Indian food or a traditional New England country supper on the lawn of their Barnard Vermont summer home.  Even more, the Rudolphs were open to conversations with students and colleagues about everything they were doing.  They showed endless interest in the research, writing and analysis that others were carrying out.
At any visit to their home one was likely to encounter not just academics but also journalists, politicians, and other public figures from India and other countries as well as Americans.  A remarkable characteristic of the many tributes published after the Rudolphs died was the number of individuals who felt they had a “special” relationship with the Rudolphs that no one else shared.

Prominent individuals in academia and politics from around the world remarked on how the Rudolphs had opened new worlds of study and ideas to them.  They were admired for how they lived as well as for how they thought, wrote and taught.  They were seen as brilliant and scintillating but also as engaged, warm and compassionate. Between them, they supervised some 300 doctoral dissertations.

The Rudolphs between them published more than twenty books and dozens of articles.  They co-authored or co-edited eight books together, starting with The Modernity of Tradition (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1967), a seminal formulation of the problem of tradition and modernity that shaped the study of India past and present over the next 50 years.  It turned out to be one of the most enduring interpretations of modernization not just of Indian society but of non-Western nations around the world. At a time when reigning theories of the 1950s blamed the “backwardness” of India on the tenacity of her “traditional” institutions like caste, the Rudolphs showed how traditional-seeming institutions had actually changed through the colonial period to take on functions similar to political parties that one could only see as “modern.”
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After their retirement from active teaching in 2002, the Rudolphs returned to Jaipur each winter for several months of continued research and writing and to renew connections with Indian officials, scholars and friends.  In 2014, on their last trip to India, the Rudolphs were both presented the Padma Bhushan award, one of India’s highest civilian honors, by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. The award recognizes distinguished service of a high order to the nation of India in any field.

In the winter of 2015-2016 the couple died within 3 weeks of one another.

More details:
Lloyd served as chair of the Committee on International Relations and the Master of Arts Program in the social sciences and as chair of concentrations in political science, public policy, international studies and South Asian studies. In 1999, he received the University’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.

 Lloyd Irving Rudolph was born in Chicago, Illinois on Nov. 1, 1927. After graduating from high school, he was appointed a cadet at West Point in 1945, but resigned his appointment after a semester to attend Harvard University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1948. From Harvard he also earned a master of public administration degree in 1950 and a Ph.D. in political science in 1956.

 Susanne became the William Benton Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University. She was elected president of the American Political Science Association and the Association for Asian Studies, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a winner of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Susanne Hoeber Rudolph was born in Mannheim, Germany on April 3, 1930.  She was the daughter of educated Social Democratic activists who fled Hitler’s Germany just before World War II; Susanne was nine when she came to the United States.  She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and earned her Harvard Ph.D. in 1955.

Guests may access freely parts of Susanne Rudolph’s cookbook inspired by her mentors Avis DeVoto and Julia Child.

Download Click to Download Cookbook Selections

Susanne Rudolph's Cookbook Intro:

“Avis deVoto introduced us to the connection between good cooking and the good life. She was the force that put Julia Child on the American food map, spreading French tastes to1960s meat-and-potatoes middle classes. We were swept along by this gastronomic revolution, but we had special access. Avis was a friend. Professor Arthur Maas, of the Harvard government department, was an old friend of ours and Avis’s, and a gourmet cook. We found each other, and for a year in the 1960’s we four met once month at Avis’ house on Berkeley street in Cambridge to cook. We would oil the wheels of effort with a good bottle of scotch, and divide up the work. Lloyd had the garlic mashed potatoes; Avis the lamb roast with mustard sauce; Susanne the reine de saba; Arthur the endive.

Recently we met Gisela Wellman, one of the au pairs who was with us in the sixties. Carefully inscribed in her kitchen cookbook is the now famous lamb roast, plus a dozen more well practiced recipes.”
Susanne Rudolph