Earl Anthony Wayne Interview: Conversations with History; Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

U.S. Economic Policy after 9/11: Conversation with Earl Anthony Wayne, Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State; December 13, 2004, by Harry Kreisler

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Background

How are you, sir? Welcome back to Berkeley.

Thanks very much, Harry. It's a pleasure to be here.

Where were you born and raised?

In Concord, California, not far from here. I grew up and came here after high school for my undergraduate years.

Looking back, before we talk about how Berkeley affected you, how do you think your parents shaped your thinking about the world? Did they leave you with an international orientation that Berkeley then shaped?

They did to a degree. My mother was an opera singer and a music teacher, but she loved things international. We would go over to San Francisco and explore pretty regularly all the different ethnic communities there, and had many books in our house about things international, and they got me collecting international stamps -- all of that led to an interest in things international.

Was it inevitable that you would come to Berkeley?

Sometimes high school students focus on one option and stay with that. I did take a tour around as a high school junior to all the schools in California, but the one that I liked most was Berkeley. So in the end I only applied to Berkeley.

Was Berkeley easier to get into back then, comparatively speaking?

I don't remember what I thought through exactly, but I liked Berkeley. I had pretty good grades, and I actually got a scholarship, which was the tremendous sum of something like $250 a year. That paid for all the tuition and a big chunk of the book cost. So to me, that was just wonderful.

I think today that might cover the public transportation from Concord to Berkeley!

Maybe!

What did you major in here at Berkeley?

In political science. It was a great time to be here, pretty exciting times.

These would have been what years now?

1968 to 1972.

So, after the first wave of the Free Speech Movement had happened and the Vietnam War was heating up.

Yes. In fact, the first year I was here we had a different strike each quarter. One was about Angela Davis, one was Eldridge Cleaver, and I don't remember the third. But for a freshman, it was pretty exciting stuff to come into this atmosphere.

Any professors that you had in political science that you remember and that influenced you?

I was very interested in China, and there was a young professor who has since moved on, who helped a bit along the way. His name was John Starr.

Oh, I knew him.

And Professor Gregor, A. James Gregor.

Yes, who is still teaching.

Teaching about totalitarianism and dictatorship and communism. It was a fascinating set of courses I took with him.

There was an adjunct professor whose name was Martick, who was from Yugoslavia. We did some small-group studies on the dynamics of revolutions. That was very interesting because it got me thinking about change in other societies, the possibilities for peaceful change or the lack of possibilities for peaceful change, which sometimes led to the evolution of violent change.

And, of course, a lot of other ones -- Hannah Pitkin and political theory courses, and American policies courses. It was a great time to be here.

I ask this of a number of people who come through this program: Looking back, how do you think the sixties, generally, shaped your thinking about the world and, of course, being at Berkeley?

I'd say that it opened my perspective, coming from a small suburban city. It opened the door on thinking of the great thinkers through history, but also the dynamics of other cultures and other political systems. It was sort of like cracking that door open a little bit for me, and made me want to go further.

You went on and did graduate work in the east, right? Where did you get your advanced degrees?

I first went to Stanford for a year in political science, but then I decided that I needed to go back east because I knew the California outlook and I would benefit from another experience. So I went to Princeton in a Ph.D. program, but only went through the exams, and then decided that I'd like to try diplomacy. I had taken a Foreign Service exam and they offered me a job, so I decided, well, let's see what this is like in action.

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