Volume 81, Number 1

April 2006

Kim Barry’s Fruitful Provocation

Peter H. Schuck

If the raison d’etre of the scholar is to provoke thought and contribute to the growth and refinement of our understanding of important phenomena, Kim Barry has succeeded. It is the fate of those who die young to be forever bathed in, but also obscured by, the luster of their promise. Our loving hopes for them often overshadow what they wanted for themselves and would have done with their talents. In Barry’s case, however, this possible confusion is dispelled by the fact, fully revealed by this Symposium, that her ambition to be a notable legal scholar has already been realized. Her actual achievement, not merely her youthful ambition, has fulfilled the great promise that her New York University mentors, many friends, and devoted family saw in her. For one who, at the time of her death, had just taken her first step in what would surely have been a long and rewarding scholarly journey, this represents an immense personal triumph. This triumph is illuminated and celebrated in these pages, which I think of as an extended thank-you note acknowledging our debt to her.