Bruce Dancis and I were graduate students together at Stan­ford University in the mid-1970s. We were not particularly close, but we did play together on a pretty good intramural basketball team with others in the history department. Bruce initially had some difficulty adapting to the team’s offense. He joked that he was used to playing with other socialists in Berkeley, where everyone felt obligated to pass the ball and hence no one ever took a shot.

Bruce was self-effacing off the basketball court as well. I remember him as keenly intelligent, soft-spoken, and possessed of a quiet dignity. At the time I had no idea that before he arrived at Stanford, he had been an antiwar activist of the first rank at Cornell University and that he had spent 19 months in federal prison for draft resistance. Resister is Bruce’s memoir of those years, and it too is keenly intelligent, soft-spoken, and possessed of a quiet dignity.

Dancis came by his defining moral and political convictions early in life. His parents were socialists and his father was a significant figure in the American Socialist Party and the War Resisters League in the 1930s and 1940s. He was a conscientious objector in World War II. By the time Bruce was born in 1948, his parents’ political activism had waned considerably, and their anticommunism waxed as their anticapitalism waned. Yet they remained firmly on the left, and their support for their son never flagged, despite sometimes sharp political disagreements.