Nov. 23, 1921-July 18, 2012
Redwood City, California
Political scientist and scholar Elaine Windrich died peacefully in Redwood City, Calif., on July 18, 2012, from complications of emphysema, at the age of 90.
She was born Elaine Windreich in San Francisco on Nov. 29, 1921, the daughter of Sam and Ruth (Miller) Windreich. Her father, who worked as a salesman, was a native of Austria; her mother was from California. Windrich earned three degrees from University of California, Berkeley, culminating with a PhD in 1947. Her dissertation topic was British foreign policy during the Spanish Civil War.
Windrich was an assistant professor of political science at Stanford from 1948 until 1953. She moved to London to be a lecturer at University of London, and served as a research officer for the Parliamentary Labour Party from 1959-64.
She returned to Stanford as a visiting scholar from 1973-1980, and lived in Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1984, serving as a consultant to Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust and the Ministry of Information. She was also a visiting scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, for several years before retiring at Stanford.
Windrich was a well-known figure on the Stanford campus, frequenting the Hoover Institution Library and Green Library, where she conducted research for her books and articles. She lived for many years at Kingscote Gardens Apartments; the past two years she resided in a board and care home in Redwood City.
She had a sharp sense of humor, was an avid follower of Wimbledon tennis broadcasts, and loved cats, BBC news, African culture, elephants, fresh fruit, and "jumble" sales. She used the Internet to keep in touch with family and friends in far-flung places and to follow world politics.
Windrich authored The British Labour Party's Foreign Policy (Stanford University Press, 1953), The Rhodesian Problem: A Documentary Record (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), Britain and the Politics of Rhodesian Independence (Holmes & Meier, 1978), The Mass Media and the Struggle for Zimbabwe (Mambo Press, 1981), and The Cold War Guerrilla: Jona Savimbi, the U.S. Media, and the Angolan War (Greenwood Press, 1992). She also authored many journal articles and reviews; her knowledge of Southern African politics is widely respected.
Windrich is survived by her brother, Leland Windreich of Vancouver, Canada; and many friends and colleagues. Her friends wish to thank the staff at Dolphin Park Rest Home and Gordon Manor, where she received excellent care.
Donations may be made in her memory to the Memorial Fund, Stanford University Libraries; the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University; or Amnesty International, USA.