By Emily Gold Boutilier


Douglas C. Wilson ’62 was editor of Amherst for a quarter of the magazine’s 100 years. The Wilson era—from 1977 until 2002—was an especially fruitful time for alumni profiles and interviews. During this period, the magazine covered everyone from the U.S. ambassador to Canada (Edward N. Ney ’46) to the manager of the band Phish (John Paluska ’89) to former fashion model Lauren Lindberg ’90 (“She found that she hated it, and now she’s going back to school”) to Lloyd Conover ’45, who invented the drug tetracycline.


In 1986, Associate Editor Terry Allen traveled to Washington, D.C., to interview soon-to-retire U.S. Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton ’50, a Missouri Democrat. “Many Americans remember Sen. Eagleton as the vice presidential candidate who was bumped from the ticket in Sen. George McGovern’s unsuccessful 1972 Democratic bid for the presidency,” Allen writes. “Eagleton stepped down after revelations in the press that he had been treated for depression.” Allen asked Eagleton about how his stances had changed over time. “Thinking back when I came here, 17 years ago, I am less a government interventionist than I was then,” Eagleton said. “When I came here, filled with all kinds of joyous optimism, I felt this warm, compassionate thing we call the federal government would, if it made up its mind and had the will to do it, address most of the injustice or unfairness we had in America. I once believed government can solve most of any inequity. I now know that government cannot so do.” Eagleton went on to become a professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He lived in the St. Louis area until his death in 2007.


The magazine ran two lengthy excerpts of The Soul of a New Machine, the 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Tracy Kidder about the deadline-pressured effort of Tom West ’61 to build the next-generation computer. “Secretive as a mother cat about the location of her kittens,” Kidder wrote, “West had masked most of his activities, including his worrying.” West died in May 2011 after a long career at Data General Corp.

Journalist Noga Tarnopolsky ’87 made the cover of the magazine in 2000, when Joseph B. Thoron ’93 wrote of her book project about the murder, by the Argentine government, of five members of her extended family in the 1970s. She was a child living in Geneva when her relatives were taken. “Since age 10,” Tarnopolsky said, “I’ve carried a sense of outrage that such a thing would happen.” Tarnopolsky is now director of Punto Press in Jerusalem.