Statesmanship and Party Government: A Study of Burke and Bolingbroke

University of Chicago Press, 1965.

Excerpt: In considering the origins of party government, we face this problem: parties are universal, but party government is recent. Parties are universal because in politics men act for motives which can be and are stated in opinions. Opinions are disputable, especially opinions about… More

Spirit of Liberalism

Harvard University Press, 1978.

Excerpt: IN THE election of 1972 the coalition of which the Democratic party is composed came unstuck as its voters divided into enthusiasts for McGovern or against Nixon and supporters of Wallace and Nixon. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the coalition dissolved further or… More

Machiavelli’s The Prince

A new translation with introduction, University of Chicago Press, 1985; second edition, with corrections and a glossary, 1998.

Taming the Prince: The Ambivalence of Modern Executive Power

The Free Press, 1989; paperback edition, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. The Johns Hopkins University Press; Reprint edition (April 1, 1993)

Excerpt: To understand the modern doctrine of executive power, we need to know, at least approximately, what executive power is. It might at first seem best to go directly to the thing and to ignore opinions about it. For executive power is universally agreed to be a modern necessity:… More

America’s Constitutional Soul

The Johns Hopkins University Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 1993)

Excerpt: When it comes to American politics, I am an amateur. I love America at its best, or even at its most characteristic: “only in America.” Perhaps this kind of love ought to qualify me as a professional, because it requires one to learn what those two Americas are. But… More

Machiavelli’s Virtue

University Of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (March 25, 1998)

Excerpt: Machiavelli’s political science has not received the attention it deserves. All commentators are attracted, with a force they often seem not to understand, by the question of his notion of virtue: is it a compromise with evil or is it innocent? So stark a formulation is not… More

A Student’s Guide to Political Philosophy

Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2001.

Excerpt: Political Philosophy is found in great books—those by Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau and others of the highest rank—and in books by professors. You should spend much more time with the great authors than with the professors, and you should use the professors to help you… More


Yale University Press, 2006.  Italian trans., Virilità, Rizzoli, 2006.

Excerpt: Today the very word manliness seems quaint and obsolete. We are in the process of making the English language gender-neutral, and manliness, the quality of one gender, or rather, of one sex, seems to describe the essence of the enemy we are attacking, the evil we are… More

Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

Oxford University Press, 2010.

Excerpt: In view of Tocqueville’s criticisms of philosophy, it may seem paradoxical and presumptuous to call him a philosopher. But he calls himself a “new kind of liberal,” and he sets forth a new liberalism that he has rethought. In Democracy in America he criticizes materialist… More