REASON Profile: David Brudnoy


Thanks to the Universal Press Syndicate, thirty-four year-old REASON "Viewpoint" columnist David Brudnoy has recently become the only nationally syndicated purveyor of libertarian views. Not that Brudnoy claims to be a libertarian—"I aim at a libertarian society, as envisioned by our better libertarian thinkers, but I'm conservative in wanting to see this done gradually. I'm also conservative temperamentally." (His timetable for achieving a libertarian society includes having the government cut down to "the basic Lockean functions" by the year 2000!)

Brudnoy was a liberal-leftist until 1964 when he began to rethink his views and started reading Ayn Rand and different types of conservative literature. "Since then I have been ambling back and forth across the libertarian and conservative landscape trying to find the ideal." He became a regular contributor to a number of publications, including REASON, Human Events, New Guard, The Alternative, Ideas, and Counterpoint. He also has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Journal of American History, The Boston Globe, The Anaheim Bulletin, The Negro American Literature Forum, and Playgirl. He has written articles for several books and is the editor of The Conservative Alternative (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1973).

David Brudnoy received his B.A. degree in Japanese Studies from Yale in 1962, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard in 1963, and later received an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Brandeis University. Since 1964 he has taught at several schools including Texas Southern University, Northeastern University, Boston College, and the University of Rhode Island. He is currently teaching at Harvard's Institute of Politics, and is researching the contemporary American conservative movement.

Besides writing and teaching Brudnoy has a number of hobbies including photography, swimming, tennis, oenophilia, and food ("I write a restaurant column for Boston Magazine"). He also enjoys films, politics, and reading—his favorite authors include Rand, William F. Buckley, and modern Japanese authors such as Mishima, Dazai and Kawabata. He very much enjoyed F. Reid Buckley's recent book, Servants and Masters.

Brudnoy is extremely busy with his various activities—"I am now a commentator with two Boston television stations, working to expand my syndicated newspaper column, regularly writing for seven magazines, and assiduously avoiding the frightening step of sitting down and beginning a book…"