Richard Berthold

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Richard Berthold (born 1946) is a former tenured professor of classical history at the University of New Mexico. On the morning of September 11, 2001, while the terrorist attacks were still going on, he told two large freshman classes that "Anybody who blows up the Pentagon gets my vote." Initially, he received a reprimand[1][2], and faced with growing harassment from the administration and especially his own department, he retired two years later.

Berthold stated that his comments were "a reflection of my disagreement with much of our foreign policy." He also noted that he only referred to the Pentagon, and not the World Trade Center. However, he acknowledged that he made this statement "in an embarrassing moment of insensitivity and stupidity ... when more than a hundred people had just died at the Pentagon."

Berthold's courses on the Ancient Near East, Greece, Rome and Western Civ were extremely popular with UNM students. He is commonly regarded as an eccentric and endearing individual, with obvious, notable exceptions. Despite a 31-year career, which saw 20,000 students go through his classes, the receipt of the university's highest teaching award and two books, he was denied emeritus status by the history department. He has recently published a Greek history, Dare To Struggle. The History and Society of Greece, and is currently working on a scholarly work on Athenian-Persian relations from 510-490, culminating in the battle of Marathon.

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