Books

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… 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… 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… 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… 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… More

Manliness

– 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,… 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… More

Essays

Comment on Mr. Plumb’s Paper

– "Comment on Mr. Plumb’s Paper," Man Versus Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain, James Clifford, ed., London: Cambridge University Press, 1968.

Impartial Representation

– "Impartial Representation," Representation and Misrepresentation, R.A. Goldwin, ed., Chicago, Il.: Rand Mcnally, 1968, pp. 91-114.

Modern and Medieval Representation

– "Modern and Medieval Representation," Nomos, vol. XI (1968), in Representation, J.R. Pennock and J. Chapman. eds., 1968, pp. 55-82.

Burke on Christianity

– "Burke on Christianity," Studies in Burke and His Time, Vol. 9 (1968), pp. 864-865.

Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount

– "Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount," and "Burke, Edmund," Encyclopedia Americana, New York: Americana Corporation, 1969.

Review of Politics and Experience

– Review of Politics and Experience, Preston King and B. C. Parekh, eds., Studies in Burke and His Time, vol. 10 (1969): 1284-87.

Necessity in the Beginning of Cities

– "Necessity in the Beginning of Cities," The Political Calculus: Essays in Machiavelli's Philosophy,  A. Parel, ed., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972, pp. 101-126.

Review of Thomas Jefferson as Social Scientist

– Review of Thomas Jefferson as Social Scientist, by C. Randolph Benson, and Thomas Jefferson: A Well-Tempered Mind, by Carl Binger, American Political Science Review, vol. 67 (1973): 982-84.

Defending Liberalism

– "Defending Liberalism," The Alternative, April 1974.
Excerpt: LYNDON JOHNSON’S death on the day before the peace settlement in Vietnam was announced gave Richard Nixon the opportunity, while making the announcement, of vindicating… More

Review of Polybius

– Review of Polybius, by F. W. Walbank, Political Theory, vol. 3 (1975): 232-34.

The Prestige of Public Employment

– "The Prestige of Public Employment," Public Employee Unions, A.L. Chickering, ed., San Francisco, California: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1976, pp. 35-50.

Review of The Machiavellian Moment

– Review of The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition, by J. G. A. Pocock, American Political Science Review, vol. 71 (1977): 1151-52.

Review of Thomas Hobbes in His Time

– Review of Thomas Hobbes in His Time, Ralph Ross, Herbert W. Schneider, and Theodore Waldman, eds., American Political Science Review, vol. 71 (1977): 660:61.

Representation: The Perennial Issues

Representation: The Perennial Issues, with Robert Scigliano, pamphlet published by the American Political Science Association, 1978, 80 pp.

Thomas Jefferson

– "Thomas Jefferson," American Political Thought, M. Frisch and R. Stevens, eds., New York, 1971, pp. 23-50; republished in Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, H.C. Mansfield, Jr., ed., Crofts Classics, 1978.

On the Political Character of Property in Locke

– "On the Political Character of Property in Locke," Powers, Possessions and Freedom: Essays in Honour of C.B.MacPherson, A. Kontos, ed., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1979, pp. 23-38.

Review of The Public’s Business

– Review of The Public's Business: The Politics and Practices of Government Corporations, by Annmarie Hauck Walsh, in Political Science Quarterly, Spring 1979.

Review of John Locke and the Theory of Sovereignty

– Review of John Locke and the Theory of Sovereignty: Mixed Monarcy and the Right of Resistance in the Political Thought of the English Revolution, by J. H. Franklin, Review of Metaphysics, vol. 32 (June 1979): 752-54.

The Ambivalence of Executive Power

– "The Ambivalence of Executive Power," The Presidency in the Constitutional Order,  J. Bessette and J. Tulis, eds.,  Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1981, pp. 314-334.

A Medley of ‘Mediology’

– "A Medley of ‘Mediology,'" review of Le Pouvoir Intellectuel en France, by Regis Debray, Government and Opposition, vol. 16 (1981): 254-57.

Review of The Quattrocento Dialogue

– Review of The Quattrocento Dialogue: Classical Tradition and Humanist Innovation, by D. Marsh, Review of Metaphysics, vol. 34 (June 1981): 794-95.

The Anti-Power Ethic

– "The Anti-Power Ethic," review article in Government and Opposition, Vol. 17 (1982), pp. 362-369.

The Forms and Formalities of Liberty

– "The Forms and Formalities of Liberty," The Public Interest, No. 70 (Winter 1983), pp. 121-131.
Excerpt: This statement is long for an epigraph but dense enough to require explanation, and deep enough to reward reflection. Speaking of “forms,” Tocqueville directs our… More

A Summer Seminar on the American Experiment

– "A Summer Seminar on the American Experiment," with Delba Winthrop, This Constitution, no. 9 (1985): 34-37.
Excerpt: Because America is so familiar to Americans, we take for granted the experimental nature of our politics. But this is the very theme of the two best books on American politics, The… More

How Dangerous Is Machiavelli?

– "How Dangerous Is Machiavelli?," review of Citizen Machiavelli, by Mark Hulliung, Review of Politics, vol. 47 (1985): 298-300.

The Teflon Presidency

– “The Teflon Presidency,” The New Federalist Papers, The Claremont Institute, 28 June 1985.

The Forms of Liberty

– "The Forms of Liberty," Democratic Capitalism? Essays in Search of a Concept, Fred E. Baumann, ed., Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1986, pp. 1-21.

Edmund Burke

– "Edmund Burke," History of Political Philosophy, Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, eds., 3rd ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
Excerpt: For almost all his adult life, Burke was a politician; for almost thirty years he was a member of the House of Commons, busy with the affairs of his party in the daily management… More

Republicanizing the Executive

– "Republicanizing the Executive," Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding, Charles R. Kesler, ed., New York: The Free Press, 1987, pp. 168-184.

The Partisan Historian

– "The Partisan Historian," review of The Cycles of American History, by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., American Spectator, February 1987.
Excerpt: The author of these sparkling essays (republished, but rewritten) is much more partisan than most other historians think proper. Whereas they see partisanship as a danger to be… More

Review Article of George Gilder’s Men and Marriage

– "Beauty and the Beast: Review Article of George Gilder's Men and Marriage," Policy Review, Winter 1987, pp. 76-78.
Excerpt: I n this revision of his book Sexual Suicide, George Gilder continues and expands his lonely opposition to feminism. He is the one male who has the gall, or the courage, to say… More

Constitutional Government: The Soul of Modern Democracy

– "Constitutional Government: The Soul of Modern Democracy," The Public Interest, No. 86 (Winter 1987), pp. 53-64.
Excerpt: ALTHOUGH modern democracy is unhappy with the word “soul,” it has one nonetheless; and its soul is not healthy today. The disease is widely known as “dependeney,” the… More

Machiavelli and the Modern Executive

– "Machiavelli and the Modern Executive," Understanding the Political Spirit, Catherine H. Zuckert, ed., New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988, pp. 88-110.

Democracy and the Great Books

– "Democracy and the Great Books," an exchange with Richard Rorty, The New Republic, April 4, 1988.  Also published in French, Commentaire, Summer 1988, pp. 492-6.

Constitutional Fideism

– "Constitutional Fideism," review article in Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, vol. 1 (1988), pp. 181-86.

The Revival of Constitutionalism

– "The Revival of Constitutionalism," The Revival of Constitutionalism, James W. Muller, ed., Lincoln, Nebraska: Nebraska University Press, 1989, pp. 214-27.

Social Science and the Constitution

– "Social Science and the Constitution," Confronting the Constitution, Allan Bloom, ed., American Enterprise Institute Press, 1990, pp. 411-436.

The State of Harvard

– "The State of Harvard," review article in The Public Interest, No. 101 (Fall 1990), pp. 113-123.
Excerpt: HARVARD is either the best American university or close to it, and according to Henry Rosovsky, two-thirds of the world’s best universities are American. Rosovsky was dean of… More

Tough Times for the President

– "Tough Times for the President," review of The Beleaguered Presidency, by Aaron Wildavsky, Review of Politics, vol. 54 (1992): 680-82.

Political Parties and American Constitutionalism

– “Political Parties and American Constitutionalism," American Political Parties and Constitutional Politics, Peter W. Schramm and Bradford P. Wilson, eds.,  Rowman and Littlefield, 1992, pp. 1-16.

Dewey, All-Out Democrat

– "Dewey, All-Out Democrat," review of John Dewey and American Democracy, by Robert B. Westbrook, Times Literary Supplement, 24 January 1992, 26.

Review of The Counter-Reformation Prince

– Review of The Counter-Reformation Prince: Anti-Machiavellianism or Catholic Statecraft in Early Modern Europe, by Robert Bireley, American Historical Review, vol. 97 (February 1992): 182.

The Vision Thing

– “The Vision Thing," Times Literary Supplement, February 7, 1992, pp. 3-4.

When the People Have Spoken

– "When the People Have Spoken," review of We the People, by Bruce Ackerman, Times Literary Supplement, 24 April 1992.

Only Amend

– "Only Amend," New Republic, 6 July 1992, 13-14.
Excerpt: Who is Ross Perot? He is a businessman who wants to be president and thinks he sees an opportunity to get there despite the system that stands in his way. Most conventional opinion… More

The Great Edmund Burke

– "The Great Edmund Burke," review of The Great Melody, by Conor Cruise O'Brien, New Criterion, November 1992.
Excerpt: The publication of The Great Melody is an event not just in the small circle of Edmund Burke scholarship but also in the larger community of historians. Still more, and above all,… More

Change and Bill Clinton

– “Change and Bill Clinton,” Times Literary Supplement, November 13, 1992, ppp. 14-15.

The Silence of a Mechanism

– "The Silence of a Mechanism," review of The Silence of Constitutions: Laws, Men, and Machines, and American Political Ideas, by Michael Foley, Government and Opposition, vol. 28 (1993): 126-29.

Review of Machiavelli in Hell

– Review of Machiavelli in Hell, by Sebastian de Grazia, and The Machiavellian Cosmos, by Anthony J. Parel, American Political Science Review, vol. 87 (1993): 764-65.
Excerpt: Here are two books on Machiavelli of unusual distinction, composed by authors who have spent a good portion of their lives in loving study of a great man whom they need to… More

Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., The Question of Conservatism

– "Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., The Question of Conservatism," interview in Harvard Review of Philosophy, Spring 1993, pp. 30-47.
Excerpt: HRP: What, in your view, is political philosophy and why should students and others care about it? Mansfield: Let me answer from the standpoint of philosophy. I would saythat… More

A Debatable Fusion

– "A Debatable Fusion," review of The Shaping of American Liberalism, by David F. Ericson, Times Literary Supplement, 23 July 1993, p. 26.

Returning to the Founders

– "Returning to the Founders: the Debate on the Constitution," review of The Debate on the Constitution, Bernard Bailyn, ed., New Criterion, September 1993.
Excerpt: The publication of The Debate on the Constitution, in two new volumes of the Library of America, is an occasion for reflection.[1] Edited by Bernard Bailyn, now the foremost… More

Responsibility and its Perversions

– "Responsibility and its Perversions," Individualism and Social Responsibility, W. Lawson Taite, ed., The University of Texas at Dallas, 1994, pp. 79-99.

The Unfinished Revolution

– "The Unfinished Revolution," Three Beginnings: Revolution, Rights, and the Liberal State,  Stephen F. Englehart and John Allphin Moore, Jr., eds.,  New York: Peter Lang, 1994, pp. 9-30.  Reprinted in The Legacy of the French Revolution, Ralph C. Hancock and L. Gary Lambert, eds., Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996. pp. 19-41.

Equality and Comfort

– "Equality and Comfort," review of Liberty, Justice, Order, by John Morton Blum, Times Literary Supplement, 10 June 1994, 13.

Why Equality is Ridiculous

– "Why Equality is Ridiculous," review of In Defense of Elitism, by William A. Henry III, Wall Street Journal, 6 September 1994, A10.

Foolish Cosmopolitanism

– "Foolish Cosmopolitanism," reply to Martha Nussbaum, Boston Review, October-November 1994, 10.
Excerpt: Martha Nussbaum is one of the most eminent female philosophy professors of our time, but when it comes to politics, she’s a girl scout. Indeed, she has less useful… More

Political Theory as Historical Artifact

– "Political Theory as Historical Artifact," review of The Descent of Political Theory, by John G. Gunnell, Review of Politics, vol. 57 (1995): 372-74.

Democracy and Populism

– "Democracy and Populism," A New Moment in the Americas, Robert S. Leiken, ed., New Brunswick, N. J.: Transaction Publishers, 1995. pp. 27-30.

Machiavelli and the Idea of Progress

– "Machiavelli and the Idea of Progress," History and the Idea of Progress, Arthur Melzer, jerry Weinberger, and Richard Zinman, eds., Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995.

Real Change in the USA

– “Real Change in the USA,” Government and Opposition, vol. 30 (1995), pp. 35-47.

Veritas

– "Veritas," The National Endowments: A Critical Symposium, L. Jarvik, H. London, and J. Cooper, eds., Los Angeles: The Center for the Study of Popular Culture, 1995.

Less Means Less

– "Less Means Less," review of Dead Right, by David Frum, Times Literary Supplement, 10 February 1995.

Friends and Founders

– "Friends and Founders," review of The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson & James Madison, John Morton Smith, ed., New Criterion, May 1995.
Excerpt: The publication of the Jefferson–Madison correspondence is an event, for all who take a serious interest in American politics, that should have happened a long time ago.  The… More

A Gay Makes His Case

– "A Gay Makes His Case," review of Virtually Normal, by Andrew Sullivan, Wall Street Journal, 31 August 1995.

Look, No Tocqueville!

– "Look, No Tocqueville!," review of The Next American Nation, by Michael Lind, National Interest, no. 41 (Fall 1995): 99-102.

The National Prospect

– "The National Prospect," a symposium, Commentary Magazine, November 1995, 85-86.
Excerpt: Lack of virtue is dimming our national prospect. This is a simpler statement than the one posed for the symposium, which lists possible causes of moral decline rather than calling… More

Bring Back Respectability

– "Bring Back Respectability," The American Enterprise, 1996.
Excerpt: Picking up trash, removing graffiti, asking the beggars to move on-at first I had trouble deciding which of these activities (any one of which would be easy to carry out) would be… More

Passions et intérêts

– “Passions et intérêts,” Dictionnaire de Philosophie Politique, Philippe Raynaud and Stéphane Rials, eds., Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1996, pp. 453-457.

Was It Really a Myth?

– "Was It Really a Myth?" review of The Myth of American Individualism, by Barry Alan Shain, Times Literary Supplement, 09 February 1996.

An Idea and Its Consequences

– "An Idea and Its Consequences," review of Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, by Irving Kristol, National Review, 12 February 1996, 27-28.

A Great-books Junior College

– "A Great-books Junior College," symposium entitled "Nineteen Great Ideas for Repairing Civic Life," Policy Review, March-April 1996, p. 23.
Excerpt: My idea is to create a new one- or two-year junior college for bright students (or even not-so-bright students) to earn the education they did not receive in high school and… More

Paterfamilias

– "Paterfamilias," New Criterion, March 1996.
Excerpt: Richard Brookhiser remarks, and laments, that George Washington is no longer first in the hearts of his countrymen.  Brookhiser’s aim is to restore him in our hearts by way of… More

Harvard Loves Diversity

– "Harvard Loves Diversity," Weekly Standard, 25 March 1996.
Excerpt: A 58-page report from the president of Harvard on “Diversity and Learning” may not seem like hot stuff — and it isn’t, really — but it shows where… More

Re-Politicizing American Politics

– "Re-Politicizing American Politics: What a 'Living Constitution' Really Means," Weekly Standard, 29 July 1996.
Excerpt: How remarkable it is that Americans feel so dependent on government and at the same time so contemptuous of it! This is a political situation that gives hope to both Democrats and… More

The Unprincipled Majority

– "The Unprincipled Majority," review of Freedom's Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution, by Ronald Dworkin, Times Literary Supplement, 06 December 1996.

The Tragedy of Weber

– "The Tragedy of Weber: John Patrick Diggins, Max Weber," review of Max Weber: Politics and the Spirit of Tragedy, by John Patrick Diggins, Weekly Standard, 8 December 1996.
Excerpt: John Patrick Diggins, a provocative academic who writes primarily on American politics, has the happy faculty of raising your interest without entirely satisfying it. His latest… More

The Virtues of C-SPAN

– "The Virtues of C-SPAN," The American Enterprise, 1997.
Excerpt: With a healthy, unexciting breakfast, you need a zesty appetizer to start the day. I receive mine from c-SPAN, where the morning talk show, “Washington Journal,” gets my… More

Virilité et Libéralisme

– “Virilité et Libéralisme,” Archives de Philosophie du Droit, Vol. 41 (1997), pp. 25-42.
Excerpt: La virilité est une qualité – pour ne pas parler de vertu – aujourd’hui fort en disgrâce. N’importe quelle femme dotée d’un zeste de féminisme – pour être bref,… More

The Legacy of the Late Sixties

– “The Legacy of the Late Sixties,” Reassessing the Sixties, Stephen Macedo, ed., New York: W. W. Norton, 1997. Pp. 21-45.

The Election of 1996: And Our Coming Choice Between Freedom and Entitlement

– "The Election of 1996: And Our Coming Choice Between Freedom and Entitlement,” The American Enterprise, Jan-Feb. 1997, pp. 28-31.
Excerpt: The results of the 1996 elections were a relief for Republicans, who expected to lose the presidency and thought they might lose the Congress, and a disappointment for Democrats,… More

Karl Popper

– "Karl Popper," Panorama, 16 January 1997.

Ancient or Modern?

– "Ancient or Modern?" review of Machiavelli's Three Romes, by Vickie B. Sullivan, Times Literary Supplement, 11 April 1997.

Backlash

– "Backlash," review Women and the Common Life: Love, Marriage, and Feminism, by Christopher Lasch, Weekly Standard, 14 April 1997.
Excerpt: The late Christopher Lasch was one of those rare men who take women seriously. He did this by taking their arguments seriously, an effort which in our time begins with taking… More

Gentlemen’s Gentleman

– "Gentlemen's Gentleman: Edmund Burke's Critique of Theory," Times Literary Supplement, 11 July 1997.

The City of Manent

– "The City of Manent: A French Political Philosopher Examines Modernity," review of The City of Man, by Pierre Manent, Weekly Standard, 15 June 1998.
Excerpt: A book like Pierre Manent’s The City of Man doesn’t come along every day.  Originally published in France in 1994 and now brought out in English by Princeton… More

Why a Good Man is Hard to Find

– "Why a Good Man is Hard to Find: Feminism Liberated Men, Too," The Women’s Quarterly, no. 17 (Autumn 1998), pp. 4-6.
Excerpt: IN OUR NEW world of choice Dad seems to have gone, departed, left the scene, flown the coop. Many dads are literally gone, and they make up the statistics of male abandonment, the… More

A Nation of Consenting Adults

– "A Nation of Consenting Adults: The Democrats Are the Party of Moral Laxity, and the Republicans Are the Party of Moral--What?," Weekly Standard, 15 November 1998.
Excerpt: The election was about sex even if it wasn’t.  It wasn’t, because the Republicans failed to make an issue of President Clinton’s escapades.  They were following… More

Review of Machiavelli

– Review of Machiavelli, by Maurizio Viroli, American Political Science Review, vol. 93 (1999): 964-65.

Defending Propriety

– "Defending Propriety," Weekly Standard, 21 February 1999.
Excerpt: WHEN I LAST APPEARED IN THESE PAGES it was to complain that the Republicans had not made an issue of President Clinton’s misconduct during the election campaign last year. … More

Whatever Happened to Scepticism?

– "Whatever Happened to Scepticism?" review of New Federalist Papers, by Alan Brinkley, Nelson W. Polsby, and Kathleen M. Sullivan, and The Reopening of the American Mind, by James W. Vice, Times Literary Supplement, 26 February 1999.

Consulting Old Nick

– "Consulting Old Nick," review of Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, by Michael Ledeen, and The New Prince, by Dick Morris, Wall Street Journal, 10 June 1999, A24.

Response to Francis Fukuyama’s ‘Second Thoughts’

– "Response to Francis Fukuyama's 'Second Thoughts'," National Interest, no. 56 (Summer 1999): 34-35.
Excerpt: It is a pleasure to comment again on Fukuyama’s remarkable article of ten years ago. I continue to think “The End of History” to be an overinterpretation of the… More

Naturally Proud

– "Naturally Proud," review of The Great Disruption, by Francis Fukuyama, Times Literary Supplement, 16 July 1999.

Majority Tyranny in Aristotle and Tocqueville

– “Majority Tyranny in Aristotle and Tocqueville,” Friends and Citizens: Essays in Honor of Wilson Carey McWilliams, Peter Dennis Bathory and Nancy L. Schwartz, eds., Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, pp. 289-297.

The Cuckold in Machiavelli’s Mandragola

– "The Cuckold in Machiavelli's Mandragola," The Comedy and Tragedy of Machiavelli; Essays on the Literary Works, Vickie B. Sullivan, ed., New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2000, pp. 1-29.

The Trouble with Stanley

– "The Trouble with Stanley," review of The Trouble with Principle, by Stanley Fish, National Review, 7 February 2000, 46-48.
Excerpt: The trouble with principle, we learn from Stanley Fish, is that it does not necessarily accord with what we like. And when it doesn’t, instead of sacrificing our desires to… More

The Twofold Meaning of Unum

– “The Twofold Meaning of Unum,” Reinventing the American People, Robert Royal, ed., Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1995, pp. 103-113.  French translation, "E pluribus unum: la double signification du principe d'unité dans la devise des Etats-Unis," Esprits Libres, Politique et Culture, No. 1, Spring 2000, pp. 6-18.

Bruni and Machiavelli on Civic Humanism

“Bruni and Machiavelli on Civic Humanism,” Renaissance Civic Humanism, James Hankins, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 223-246. Read online: Google Books |… More

The Right to Be Respectable

– "The Right to Be Respectable," review of Free Speech and the Politics of Identity, by David A. J. Richards, Times Literary Supplement, 11 August 2000.

Be a Man, Take Risks, Win Money and Honor

– "Be a Man, Take Risks, Win Money and Honor," The American Enterprise, September 2000, pp. 38-39.
Excerpt: Until recently, manliness had been beset by criticism from feminists, who declared it undemocratic because it excludes women. But something new is stirring in feminism: Naomi Wolf… More

Governing a Divided America

– "Governing a Divided America: Cling to Principle," The American Enterprise, 2001.
Excerpt: Politics in a democracy ordinarily produces more frustration than satisfaction. There is always a further victory to secure. The other side never goes away. The losers must grind… More

What We’ll Remember in 2050

– "What We'll Remember in 2050," Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 January 2001, B16.  Reprinted in Bush v. Gore, E. J. Dionne, Jr. and William Kristol, eds., Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001, 340-41.

Grade Inflation: It’s Time to Face the Facts

– "Grade Inflation: It's Time to Face the Facts," Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 April 2001, B24.  Reprinted in The Long Term View 5 (Spring 2002): 39-44.
Excerpt: This term I decided to experiment with the grading of my political-philosophy course at Harvard. I am giving each student two grades: one for the registrar and the public record,… More

What Tocqueville Would Say Today

– “What Tocqueville Would Say Today,” with Delba Winthrop, Hoover Digest, Summer 2001, No. 3, pp. 179-188.
Excerpt: Russell Baker once said that in our time people cite Tocqueville without reading him even more than they do the Bible and Shakespeare. Every American president since Eisenhower has… More

Those Hell-Hounds Called Terrorists

– "Those Hell-Hounds Called Terrorists," Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2001.
Excerpt: These are the words of Edmund Burke, referring to a corps of irregulars used to enforce the tyranny of the French Revolution. I hope I will not be drafted into the “blame… More

The Founders’ Honor

– The Founders’ Honor: There's More to American Politics Than Self-Interest or Principle, Weekly Standard, 3 September 2001.
Excerpt: THE WORD “HONOR” is not one we hear much these days. It sounds quaint when we read it of the past and pretentious if applied to the present. We prefer to speak more… More

Seth Benardete, 1930-2001

– "Seth Benardete, 1930-2001," Weekly Standard, 3 December 2001.
Last week Seth Benardete died, a most extraordinary man, a scholar and a philosopher. His post in life was to be a classics professor at New York University, but he was not an especially… More

To B or Not to B?

– "To B or Not to B?," Wall Street Journal, 20 December 2001.
Excerpt: Harvard is now considering what to do about grade inflation. Having at last awakened to the scandal of giving its students 51% A’s and A-‘s and graduating 91% of them… More

Political Correctness

– “Political Correctness,” Gladly to Learn and Gladly to Teach: Essays on Religion and Political Philosophy in Honor of Ernest L. Fortin, A.A., Michael P. Foley and Douglas Kries, eds., Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2002, 257-270.

Uses of Ambition

– "Uses of Ambition," review of Constitutional Self-Government, by Christopher L. Eisgruber, Times Literary Supplement, 19 July 2002, 29.

How Harvard Compromised Its Virtue

– "How Harvard Compromised Its Virtue," Chronicle of Higher Education, 21 February 2003, B7-8.  Also published as "Harvard's Virtue," Academic Questions, vol. 15, no. 4 (Fall 2002): 15-20.

Liberty and Virtue in the American Founding

– "Liberty and Virtue in the American Founding," Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic, Peter Berkowitz, ed., Hoover Institution Press, 2003.
Excerpt: Liberty and virtue are not a likely pair. At first sight they seem to be contraries, for liberty appears to mean living as you please and virtue appears to mean living not as you… More

The Manliness of Men

– "The Manliness of Men," The American Enterprise, September 2003.
Excerpt: Today the very word “manliness” seems obsolete. There are other words, such as “courage,” “frankness,” or “confidence,” that convey… More

The Christian Socrates

– "The Christian Socrates," review of Dissent and Philosophy in the Middle Ages: Dante and His Precursors, by Ernest L. Fortin, Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2003.
Excerpt: The late Ernest L. Fortin was a priest in the Assumptionist order who taught for many years at Assumption College and Boston College. This book is a translation of the original… More

Be a Man

– "Be a Man," review of From Chivalry to Terrorism, by Leo Braudy, Wall Street Journal, 29 October 2003.
Excerpt: In “From Chivalry to Terrorism” (Knopf, 613 pages, $30), Leo Braudy, a literary historian, aims to challenge those who rely on biology to assert that masculinity is… More

Ronald Wilson Reagan

– “Ronald Wilson Reagan,” Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House, James Taranto and Leonard Leo, eds., New York: Free Press, 2004.

The Captive Woman

– "The Captive Woman," Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2004.
Excerpt: Not many sermons these days concern the laws of war for the Israelites as distinguished from the Israelis. But consider that the captive woman, though beautiful and fairly won,… More

Love in the Ruins

– "Love in the Ruins: Men, Women, and the Way We Live Now," review of Taking Sex Differences Seriously, by Steven E. Rhoads, Weekly Standard, 2 August 2004.
Excerpt: “I DON’T PAY THEM to come over. . . . I pay them to leave.” So says a handsome actor regarding the prostitutes he patronizes. It’s a statement that reveals… More

An Undergrad in Full

– “An Undergrad in Full,” review of I am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe, Wall Street Journal, 5 November 2004.
Excerpt: Tom Wolfe was of course known as a social satirist long before he became the novelist we know today. One thinks, for instance, of “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide to… More

A More Demanding Curriculum

– "A More Demanding Curriculum," Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2004.
Excerpt: Our curriculum is what we, the faculty, choose to put before our students. It is what we collectively choose. Individually, we choose courses to teach that arise from our research… More

The Manliness of Theodore Roosevelt

– "The Manliness of Theodore Roosevelt," excerpt from ManlinessNew Criterion, March 2005.
Excerpt: The most obvious feature of Theodore Roosevelt’s life and thought is the one least celebrated today, his manliness.  Somehow America in the twentieth century went from the… More

Fear and Intimidation at Harvard

– "Fear and Intimidation at Harvard: What Do Academic Women Want?" Weekly Standard, 7 March 2005.
Excerpt: AT LAST WEEK’S HARVARD FACULTY MEETING, President Larry Summers saved his job, but he took a pummeling from his angry critics. Summers is easily the most outstanding of the… More

Greek Books, American Life

– "Greek Books, American Life: The Wisdom of Eva Brann, Tutor and Philosopher," review of Open Secrets / Inward Prospects: Reflections on World and Soul, by Eva Brann, Weekly Standard, 20 June 2005.
Excerpt: LET US CELEBRATE EVA BRANN, the kind old lady of St. John’s College. St. John’s is the Great Books school (actually two schools, in Annapolis and Santa Fe) where high… More

Burke’s Conservatism

– “Burke’s Conservatism,” An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life and Thought of Edmund Burke, Ian Crowe, ed., Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 2005, 59-70.

Older and Wiser?

– “Older and Wiser?,” contribution to a symposium in the Weekly Standard, 19 September 2005.
Excerpt: AT MY AGE it is difficult to learn, but it’s still possible to relearn. From 9/11, the salient event of the last 10 years, I relearned the distinction between friend and foe.… More

The Cost of Free Speech

– "The Cost of Free Speech: In the Universities It's Almost as High as the Tuition," review of Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus, by Donald Alexander Downs, Weekly Standard, 3 October 2005.
Excerpt: SENSITIVITY HAS TAKEN OVER OUR society, and nowhere more securely than in our universities. To see what has happened, consider this small fact. Half a century ago, a liberal… More

The People and Their Power

– "The People and Their Power," review of The Rise of American Democracy, by Sean Wilentz, Wall Street Journal, 13 October 2005.

Tocqueville’s New Political Science

– "Tocqueville’s New Political Science," with Delba Winthrop, The Cambridge Companion to Tocqueville, Cheryl B.Welch, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 81-107.

The Law and the President

– "The Law and the President," Weekly Standard, 16 January 2006.
Excerpt: EMERGENCY POWER FOR SUCH UNDERHANDED activities as spying makes Americans uncomfortable and upset. Even those who do not suffer from squeamish distaste for self-defense, and do not… More

Stranger in a Strange Land

– "Stranger in a Strange Land," review of American Vertigo, by Bernard-Henri Lévi, Wall Street Journal, 27 January 2006.
Excerpt: In the mid-1970s, the “new philosophers” of France, stirred by Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago,” rebelled against the Marxism that… More

The Debacle at Harvard

– "The Debacle at Harvard," Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2006.
Excerpt: It is a debacle at Harvard: a great university getting rid of its most outstanding president since James B. Conant, the only outstanding president at a major university today, and… More

A New Feminism

– "A New Feminism," Imprimis, June 2006, reprinted in Society, January/February 2007.
Excerpt: Having recently written a book on manliness, I have been asked whether I have anything to say on femininity or womanliness. I do, but it takes the form of suggestions. I… More

Unmanly Athletes

– "Unmanly Athletes," Wall Street Journal, 19 June 2006.
Excerpt: The fact that professional athletes, possibly including the great slugger Barry Bonds, have been using steroids opens a new chapter in the modern history of drug use. Professional… More

Good and Happy

– "Good and Happy," review of Happiness: A History, by Darrin M. McMahon, and Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert, New Republic, 3 July 2006.

What’s So Special about Democracy?

– "What’s So Special about Democracy?," review of Democracy: A History, by John Dunn, New York Sun, 26 July 2006.
Excerpt: Why is it that democracy is now the sole legitimate form of government throughout the world? Democracy had been deplored, even despised, from Plato to “The Federalist”… More

Rational Control

– “Rational Control,” The New Criterion, September 2006, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 39-44.
Excerpt: In the brand new building where I work, the lights go on and off, the shades go up and down, and the toilets flush, automatically, without your having to turn a switch or push a… More

At Universities, Little Learned From 9/11

– "At Universities, Little Learned From 9/11: After Five Years, Universities Remain Committed to Multiculturalism above All Else," Weekly Standard, 14 September 2006.
Excerpt: FIVE YEARS have now passed since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and what have our universities been doing? I can tell you about Harvard, and the answer is not reassuring. Harvard… More

Have It Your Way

– "Have It Your Way," Wall Street Journal, 16 November 2006.
Excerpt: The recent Harvard faculty report on general education has made waves for its new requirements to study America and religion. These may be good — we shall see — but the… More

Democracy and Greatness

– "Democracy and Greatness: The Education Americans Need," Weekly Standard, 11 December 2006.
Excerpt: We sometimes hear of the place of the great books in a democratic education (not, unfortunately, at Harvard). When it is spoken of approvingly, that place is at the center or in… More

La Démocratie et la Providence

– “La Démocratie et la Providence,” Raymond Aron et la Démocratieau XXIe Siècle, Elisabeth Dutartre, ed., Actes du Colloque International, Paris, 11-12 mars 2005, Paris: Editions de Fallois, 2007, pp. 37-40, 52.

Harvey Mansfield Interview

– Interview with Bruce Cole, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2007.
Excerpt: BRUCE COLE: How would you describe your scholarly activity or intellectual interests? HARVEY MANSFIELD The book I recently published on manliness is my most topical and has… More

How to Understand Politics: What the Humanities Can Say to Science

– "How to Understand Politics: What the Humanities Can Say to Science," 2007 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2007.
Excerpt: You may think I have some nerve coming from a university to Washington to tell you how to understand politics. Well, I mean how to understand, not how to practice. In any event the… More

The Forgotten Virtue: How Plato Perceived the Importance of Courage

– "The Forgotten Virtue: How Plato Perceived the Importance of Courage," review of Plato and the Virtue of Courage, by Linda R. Rabieh, Weekly Standard, 29 January 2007.
Excerpt: Courage is a very common virtue, its presence observed by all, even by children, and its absence sometimes severely blamed, more often excused with disdain. Your reputation will… More

Lacking Elevation

– "Lacking Elevation," review of Hugh Brogan’s Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life, New Criterion, May 2007, pp. 64-67.
Excerpt: To write the biography of a thinker is a difficult thing. His thought claims our attention at a level above the doings and deeds of his life, the latter irrelevant to the truth of… More

The Case for the Strong Executive

– "The Case for the Strong Executive," Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2007, pp. 21-24, reprinted in the Wall Street Journal, 2 May 2007.
Excerpt: Complaints against the “imperial presidency” are back in vogue. With a view to President Bush, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., has expanded and reissued the book of the… More

How to Understand Politics

– "How to Understand Politics," revised version of 2007 Jefferson Lecture, First Things, August/September 2007.
Excerpt: For some time we have taken political science for granted, as if it did not require some nerve to come out of a university to tell everyone else how to understand politics. In my… More

Atheist Tracts

– "Atheist Tracts," Weekly Standard, 13 August 2007.
Excerpt: As if we were back in eighteenth-century France, atheist tracts are abroad in our land, their flamboyant titles defiant. The God Delusion, God Is Not Great, Letter to a Christian… More

The Tough-Guy Liberal: Lee Bollinger Tries to Take on Ahmadinejad

– "The Tough-Guy Liberal: Lee Bollinger Tries to Take on Ahmadinejad," Weekly Standard, 9 Oct 2007.
Excerpt: In his grand confrontation with the Iranian president, President Lee Bollinger of Columbia University did his best to satisfy his American critics. He was tough, not soft; he… More

You Can Have It Too

– "You Can Have It Too," Atlantic Magazine, November 2007.
Excerpt: The American idea is obscured today in smoke arising from combat between liberals and conservatives. If we go back to our Founders, however, we can still discern an experiment in… More

Timeless Mind

– "Timeless Mind," review of Eugene Sheppard’s Leo Strauss and the Politics of Exile and Daniel Tanguay’s Leo Strauss, Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2007/08.
Excerpt: These two books on Leo Strauss—two more!—cover the development of Strauss’s thought. They differ in two obvious ways. Daniel Tanguay is sympathetic to Strauss and might… More

When the Giving is Good: Saving Christmas from the Economists

– "When the Giving is Good: Saving Christmas from the Economists," Weekly Standard, 14 Jan 2008.
Excerpt: The wrappings are off and the Christmas gifts stand exposed to the light of day. Did you get what you wanted? Christmas is under attack not only for materialism, not only for… More

Charity in Speech

– "The Common Form of All the Virtues," a sermon delivered in Appleton Chapel, Harvard University, February 12, 2008, Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2008.
Excerpt: The tongues of men still praise charity, though never in words of such surpassing beauty as these. But what of the deeds of men? A recent book by the economist Arthur C. Brooks,… More

Hook-Up or Shut Up

– "Hook-Up or Shut Up," review of Sex and the Soul, by Donna Freitas, Wall Street Journal, 29 April 2008.
Excerpt: However high-minded their courses may sound – “Mirror of Princes,” say, or “The Political Philosophy of Aristotle” – college students today enter a low… More

The Cost of Affirmative Action

– "The Cost of Affirmative Action," Harvard Crimson, 4 June 2008.
Excerpt: In the Government Department where I happily reside at Harvard, there are about 50 professors and about three conservatives. In a politics department, mind you. This is the result… More

Man of Courage: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008

– "Man of Courage: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008," Weekly Standard, 25 August 2008.
Excerpt: Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a hero with the hero’s virtue of courage. He displayed courage, he reflected on it. The display was for all to see, the reflection was deep,… More

Was Feminism Necessary?

– "Was Feminism Necessary?" Forbes Magazine, 15 September 2008.
Excerpt: Was feminism necessary to produce Sarah Palin’s fine performance at the Republican Convention? She is of course no heroine to radical feminists, who disliked everything she… More

High Five

– "High Five," Forbes Magazine, 17 February 2009.
Excerpt: By his own admission, Harvey Mansfield has barely left Harvard‘s campus since 1949. A teacher of political philosophy since 1962, Mansfield is also a distinguished research… More

Men, Science, and Evolutionary Theory

– "Men, Science, and Evolutionary Theory," review of Men: Evolutionary and Life History, by Richard Bribiescas, Forbes Magazine, 26 Februaruy 2009.
Excerpt: Imagine Larry Summers making that statement when he was president of Harvard, instead of the much milder query he raised about the capacity of women in science that was surely one… More

A Question for the Economists

– "A Question for the Economists," Weekly Standard, 13 April 2009.
Excerpt: One group of those involved in the present financial crisis has so far escaped notice–the economists. They are masters in the science of prediction, but as a group, if not to… More

Bush’s Determinism and the Rule of Law

– "Bush's Determinism and the Rule of Law," Harvard Crimson, 4 June 2009.
Excerpt: Every once in a while I feel obliged to do my alma mater Fair Harvard a favor by showing the world that not everyone here is morally naïve and politically correct. I am grateful… More

Consequential Ideas

– "Consequential Ideas: Exploring the Subtle Dangers of 'Soft Despotism' in Democracies," review of Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville and the Modern Prospect, by Paul A. Rahe, Weekly Standard, 22 June 2009.
Excerpt: Paul Rahe is a distinguished and prolific historian in the field of intellectual history who ventures with deliberate intent into political philosophy, judging what he sees. His… More

Is Courage a Masculine Virtue?

– "Is Courage a Masculine Virtue?" In Character, Winter 2009.
Excerpt: Courage is not solely for men, but it is mainly for men. The Greek word for courage is andreia, which comes from he-man and also means manliness. The Greek philosopher Aristotle… More

What Obama Isn’t Saying

– "What Obama Isn’t Saying: The Apolitical Politics of Progressivism," Weekly Standard, 8 February 2010.
Excerpt: The words are those of President Barack Obama speaking to Congress on health care reform on September 9, 2009. They contain the secret of his appeal—and the cause of his… More

A New Kind of Liberalism

– "A New Kind of Liberalism," New Criterion, March 2010.
Excerpt: In view of Alexis de Tocqueville’s criticisms of philosophy, it may seem paradoxical and presumptuous to call him a philosopher; yet it was through his critique of philosophy… More

Too Much Justice?

– "Too Much Justice?," interview in The Utopian, 30 March 2010.
Excerpt: Does justice consist in just institutions? Nowadays, we tend to think of it that way. For us, justice consists,  for example, in the separation of powers or an independent… More

Washington Square

– "Washington Square," review of Washington Square, by Henry James, Claremont Review of Books, 18 October 2010.
Excerpt: Henry James’s short novel Washington Square is about Dr. Austin Sloper, a resident of that Square in New York City, who cannot persuade his daughter Cath­erine not to marry… More

Providence and Democracy

– "Providence and Democracy," Claremont Review of Books, Winter/Spring 2010/2011.
Excerpt: Alexis de Tocqueville was a liberal, but, as he once wrote, a “new kind of liberal.” For us, no feature of his new liberalism is more remarkable than the alliance… More

The Degradation of Modern Democracy

– "The Degradation of Modern Democracy," review of The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life, by Kenneth Minogue, Claremont Review of Books, 3 January 2011.
Excerpt: Nowadays it is conservatives rather than liberals who stand up for liberty. Liberals have given themselves over to the advance of democracy, knowing not where it leads, and caring… More

The Wisdom of the Federalist

– "The Wisdom of the Federalist," New Criterion, February 2011.
Excerpt: The wisdom of the American Founders does not come to us in authoritative phrases such as “Confucius says” or in what we have unfortunately come to call our “values,” but… More

To the Heart of American Exceptionalism

– "To the Heart of American Exceptionalism," Wall Street Journal, 5 February 2011.
Excerpt: Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” is a book that every American who reads should read. There’s no better book on democracy and none better on America,… More

Is the Imperial Presidency Inevitable

– "Is the Imperial Presidency Inevitable," review of The Executive Unbound, by Eric A. Posner and Adrian Vermeule, New York Times, 13 March 2011.
Excerpt: In “The Executive Unbound,” Eric A. Posner and Adrian Vermeule, law professors at Chicago and Harvard, respectively, offer with somewhat alarming confidence the “Weimar and… More

Principles That Don’t Change

– "Principles That Don’t Change: Remarks on Accepting the Bradley Prize," City Journal, May 2011.
Excerpt: I want to tell you what it has been like to spend my life as a professor at Harvard, the most prestigious university in America, perhaps the world. In my time there, Old Harvard, a… More

Sociology and Other ‘Meathead’ Majors

– "Sociology and Other 'Meathead' Majors: Archie Bunker Was Right to Be Skeptical of His Son-in-Law's Opinions," Wall Street Journal, 31 May, 2011.
Excerpt: In this happy season of college graduations, students and parents will probably not be reflecting on the poor choices those students made in selecting their courses and majors. In… More

Manliness and Morality

– "Manliness and Morality: The Transgressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn," Weekly Standard, 6 June 2011.
Excerpt: What with Arnold and DSK, male transgression is once again in the news. Let’s not equate the two cases—one is forgivable, the other, if the accusations are true, is not.… More

On the Road with Alexis

– "On the Road with Alexis," Hoover Digest, 13 July 2011.
Excerpt: Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America is a book that every American who reads should read. There’s no better book on democracy and none better on America, first home of… More

The Vexing Virtue

– "The Vexing Virtue," review of Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue, by Eric Felten, Defining Ideas, 1 September 2011.
Excerpt: Eric Felten, an entertaining man who has written on the making of cocktails, has produced a book on the virtue of loyalty.   It is a serious book, though not conveyed in the… More

Optimistic or Pessimistic About America

– "Optimistic or Pessimistic About America: Harvey Mansfield," Commentary Magazine, 04 November 2011.
Excerpt: On the whole, I am optimistic about America’s future. But I do not take “optimistic” to mean that things are bound to get better, or even that they have a tendency to do so.… More

Turning Point: Is Lucretius the Gateway to the Modern World?

– "Turning Point: Is Lucretius the Gateway to the Modern World?" review of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt, Weekly Standard, 13 February 2012.
Excerpt: Stephen Greenblatt’s book on the influence of Lucretius is clever and curious—and notable for the ambition expressed in its title. Written as a scholar’s lecture but with a… More

A Truly American Scholar

– "A Truly American Scholar: James Q. Wilson Was Able to Make Students Enthusiastic over Prudence, While Other Teachers Gained Applause Only with Displays of Liberalism or Extremism," Wall Street Journal, 5 March 2012.
Excerpt: Scholar James Q. Wilson, who died last week at the age of 80, hated to be praised. He was truly modest. Now that he has departed he can do no more, and it is up to those he left… More

Political Scientist, Par Excellence

– "Political Scientist, Par Excellence," Weekly Standard, 12 March 2012.
Excerpt: James Q. Wilson, a longtime teacher in the government department at Harvard, and an all-time political scientist, has died. He was a Californian who went to college at the… More

Democracy without Politics

– "Democracy without Politics," review of Democracy without Politics, by Steven Bilakovics, Defining Ideas, 14 March 2012.
Excerpt: Steven Bilakovics has written a promising first book that will give concern to all who reflect on democracy today. It begins from the simple observation that although everybody… More

The Majesty of the Law

– "On the Majesty of the Law," Wiley Vaughn Lecture, Harvard Law School, 4 April 2012.
Excerpt: In the choice of my topic I have stumbled upon the title of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s memoirs.  I had meant to call upon what is awesome and venerable in the law, as I… More

Too Much Government, and Not Enough Politics

– "Too Much Government, and Not Enough Politics," interview, The European, 4 June 2012.
Excerpt: There is a lot of worry about America becoming less political, but I don’t think that is accurate. I see the polarization of American politics into two parties, with each… More

BS in New Zealand: Social Science Run Amok

– “BS in New Zealand: Social Science Run Amok,” Weekly Standard, 18 June 2012.
Excerpt: Actually BS here stands for “benevolent sexism.” An article by two New Zealand psychologists has come my way that deserves to become a classic of social science. The title… More

Are You Smarter Than a Freshman?

– "Are You Smarter Than a Freshman?", Defining Ideas, 30 August 2012.
Excerpt: Here are some thoughts and some readings for freshmen (or first-years) excited about our election and heading for college. They also apply to the rest of us long-time voters who… More

Obama’s Ennui

– "Obama's Ennui: And Romney's Achievement," Weekly Standard, 15 October 2012.
Excerpt: Two things were notable in the debate on October 3: the ennui of Barack Obama and the twist made by Mitt Romney. President Obama looked ill at ease, as if he were tired of his… More

The Crisis of American Self-Government

– "The Crisis of American Self-Government," interview with Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal, 30 November 2012.
Excerpt: Equality untempered by liberty invites disaster, he says. “There is a difference between making a form of government more like itself,” Mr. Mansfield says, “and… More

What Is the Future of Conservatism?

– "What Is the Future of Conservatism?," Commentary Magazine, January 2013.
Excerpt: It’s possible to be too concerned with the future–or to be judged too concerned–as conservatives discovered in the election of 2012. In winning, liberals paid almost no… More

The Higher Education Scandal

– "The Higher Education Scandal" Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2013.
Excerpt: Today’s liberals do not use liberalism to achieve excellence, but abandon  excellence to achieve liberalism. They have effectually eliminated conservatism  from higher… More

Birth of the Modern

– "Birth of the Modern," Wall Street Journal, 23 June 2013.
Excerpt: For this grand role, the mind of Machiavelli must have been capable of acting on its own, informed but not dictated by the events of the time. Machiavelli had much to say on this… More

Machiavelli’s Enterprise

– “Machiavelli’s Enterprise,” The New Criterion (October 2013).
Excerpt: To create the modern world Machiavelli initiated a two-fold transformation of politics and philosophy that would bring them together: politics with the elevation of philosophy and… More

Science and Non-Science in Liberal Education

– “Science and Non-Science in Liberal Education,” The New Atlantis (Summer 2013).
Excerpt: Allan Bloom in his famous book The Closing of the American Mind (1987), drawing on Max Weber, calls the “fundamental issue” of our time “the relation between reason, or… More

Politics Without the Regime

– “Politics without the Regime,” Claremont Review of Books (Winter 2014).
Harvey Mansfield reviews Yuval Levin’s work on Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, The Great Debate. While praising Levin’s work, Mansfield wonders whether the in some ways very… More

Tocqueville’s Machiavellianism

– Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthop, “Tocqueville's Machiavellianism,” Perspectives on Political Science 43, no. 2 (Apr.–June 2014): 87–92.  
Abstract: Tocqueville’s sole reference to Machiavelli in Democracy in America is a nicely located misquotation. This article makes much of it, more than one would likely think… More

Feminism and Its Discontents

“Feminism and Its Discontents,” Weekly Standard, June 23, 2014.
Excerpt: Feminism is in control of America’s colleges and universities, where its principles at least are held as dogmas unquestioned and unopposed. Yet in what should be a paradise with… More

Seeing America in the Spirit of Tocqueville

– "Seeing America in the Spirit of Tocqueville: A Conversation on Democracy in America with Harvey Mansfield," Interview by Chris Barker and Tao Wang, Anamnesis Journal,  Fall, 2014.
In the online journal Anamnesis, Chris Barker and Tao Wang interview Harvey Mansfield about Alexis de Tocqueville: Excerpt: HM: Democracy in America especially is a book on political… More

The Contradiction that Rules Feminism

– "The Contradiction that Rules Feminism," Hoover Institution "Defining Ideas" December 18, 2014.
In this article for the Hoover Institution, Mansfield discusses current OCR regulations and the relation to the modern ideology of feminism. Excerpt: Feminism in the universities is nothing… More

Party of Progress

– "Our Parties, Part One," City Journal, Winter, 2015.
Excerpt: Our parties are the Democrats and the Republicans as electoral and governing bodies, liberals and conservatives in ways of thinking. Increasingly, Democrats are liberals and… More

On Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa

– Harvey C. Mansfield, "Scholars of American Politics: The contributions of Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa," Weekly Standard, February 9, 2015.
In this essay, Mansfield assesses the work of two late scholars of American politics, Walter Berns and Harry V. Jaffa. Excerpt: “Among followers of [Leo] Strauss, one issue is the… More

Secret Teaching

– Harvey Mansfield, "Secret Teaching," Claremont Review of Books, Spring: 2015.
Harvey Mansfield reviews Arthur Melzer’s Philosophy Between the Lines in the Spring 2015 Claremont Review of Books. Excerpt: It is not easy to say just how good a book Arthur… More

Party of Virtue

– Harvey Mansfield, "Our Parties: Part II," City Journal, Spring: 2015.
Mansfield continues his two part exploration of the character of American political parties in the Spring 2015 issue of City Journal. Excerpt: Our parties, as liberal and conservative,… More

Dressing Up

– "Dressing Up," Weekly Standard, June 19, 2015.
Commencement remarks delivered at the John Adams Academy, a charter high school in Roseville, California, on June 5, 2015. Excerpt: A graduation ceremony is a moment of pride in which we do… More

Are all Men Created Equal?

– "Are All Men Created Equal?" Hoover Institution "Defining Ideas," November 18, 2015.
Harvey Mansfield looks at equality, with particular reference to America and modern democracy more generally. Excerpt: The movement to reduce income inequality appeals to a very traditional… More

Machiavelli’s Enterprise

– "Machiavelli's Enterprise," Machiavelli's Legacy, Timothy Fuller ed., University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, 2015.
Mansfield has an essay in the volume Machiavelli’s Legacy: The Prince after Five Hundred Years, just out from the University of Pennsylvania Press. From the publisher: Niccolo… More

Tocqueville on Religion and Liberty

– "Tocqueville on Religion and Liberty," American Political Thought, Spring: 2016.
Abstract: Tocqueville declares himself to be a “new kind” of liberal, and the most striking feature of his reform is to propose, and to find in America, an alliance, rather than… More

Why Donald Trump is No Gentleman

– "Why Donald Trump is No Gentleman," Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2016.
The Wall Street Journal Why Donald Trump Is No Gentleman Like Machiavelli, he makes clear that winning dishonorably is better than losing honorably. By Harvey C. Mansfield July 29, 2016… More

Aristotle on Economics and the Flourishing Life

– Mansfield, Harvey. "Aristotle and Human Flourishing." In Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing: Perspectives from Political Philosophy, edited by Michael R. Strain and Stan A. Veuger. American Enterprise Institute Press, 2016
Excerpt: To introduce this large topic, it is fitting to consider Aristotle, for centuries “the master of those who know” (as Dante called him). By contrast to our thinking, Aristotle… More

The Vulgar and the Sophisticates

– Harvey Mansfield, "The Vulgar and the Sophisticates," City Journal, January 20, 2017.
Excerpt: “One thing I’ve said to him directly, and I would advise my Republican friends in Congress and supporters around the country, is just make sure that as we go forward, certain… More

Why We Won’t Agree

– Harvey Mansfield. "Why We Won't Agree," Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2017.
Excerpt: What is a political party? James Campbell explores our politics’ characteristic dividedness in an excellent new book, starkly titled Polarized, that deserves to be read widely… More

The Suicide of Meritocracy

– Harvey Mansfield, "The Suicide of Meritocracy," The Weekly Standard, August 14, 2017.
Grade inflation has popped up again in the news, this time with the disclosure that it has spread to American high schools. High schools, public and especially private, now serve up 50… More

The Vulgar Manliness of Donald Trump

– Harvey Mansfield, "The Vulgar Manliness of Donald Trump," Commentary, August 14, 2017.
The most striking aspect of the rise and reign of Donald Trump has been his unabashed display of vulgarity and the ease (so far) with which he gets away with it. “Vulgar,” a term of… More

The Interview: Harvey Mansfield

– "Q & A with Harvey Mansfield," Boston Magazine, August: 2017.
Harvey Mansfield interviewed in Boston Magazine (August 2017). Much has changed since Harvey Mansfield arrived at Harvard in 1949. The university went coed and campus politics have drifted… More

Commentary

Manly Virtues and Vices

– Craig Lambert, "Manly Virtues and Vices," Harvard Magazine, May 1998.
Excerpt: Don Quixote is an archetypal manly man. Supremely confident in his abilities, forthright in his dealings, passionate about righting wrongs and protecting the weak, Cervantes’… More

The 30 Years’ War

– Janet Tassel, "The Thirty Years War," Harvard Magazine, September 1999.
Excerpt: Thirty years ago, on a warm April day in 1969, Harvard faced one of the most daunting challenges in its history. Under the leadership of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS),… More

The Mentor Conservatives Turn to for Inspiration

– Richardson, Lynda, "The Mentor Conservatives Turn to for Inspiration: A Gadfly and Confessor To a Harvard Lineage," New York Times, 16 October 1999.
Excerpt: It is the first day of the semester, and Harvey C. Mansfield has once again drawn a standing-room-only crowd of Harvard students to his course on the history of ancient and… More

Educating the Prince Eds. Blitz/Kristol

Educating the Prince: Essays in Honor of Harvey Mansfield, Mark Blitz and William Kristol, eds., Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.
In this festschrift for Harvey Mansfield, twenty-one former students, themselves distinguished scholars and writers, reflect on the whole gambit of Mansfieldian themes, from Machiavelli… More

Jaffa vs. Mansfield

– West, Thomas G., "Jaffa vs. Mansfield," Perspectives on Political Science, Claremont Institute, Fall 2002.
Excerpt: What were the original principles of the American Constitution? Are those principles true? Many historians and political scientists write about the first question. Scholars are… More

‘Manliness,’ an Obsolete Concept? by Ken Gewertz

– Ken Gewertz, “'Manliness,' an obsolete concept? Discuss,” Harvard Gazette, April 10, 2003.
Excerpt: A few years back, an editor from Harvard Magazine called Harvey Mansfield and asked if he would contribute a short quote for a profile of a fellow faculty member. Mansfield replied… More

Philosophy as a Way of Life

– Blitz, Mark, "Philosophy as a Way of Life," National Endowment for the Humanities, 2007.
Excerpt: A student who attends Harvard today might think of Harvey Mansfield as a tough-grading conservative who defends manliness on late night television. But in the early 1960s, many… More

The Arts of Rule Eds. Krause/McGrail

The Arts of Rule: Essays in Honor of Harvey Mansfield, Sharon R. Krause and Mary Ann McGrail, eds., Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009.
Excerpt: This is a book about the arts of rule. It has been created for the purpose of honoring Harvey C. Mansfield, who has taught so many of us so much about these arts. Above all, he has… More

Profile in Courage by Emily Esfahani Smith

– Emily Esfahani Smith, “Profile in Courage: Harvey Mansfield,” Defining Ideas (a Hoover Institution online journal), December 13, 2010.
Excerpt: Liberalism believes that there are principles by which we live, self-evident truths, and that is our founding principle, all men are created equal.” Referring back to his foil,… More

The Harvey Mansfield Story

– Eric P. Newcomer, “The Harvey Mansfield Story: Harvard’s Political Philosopher,” Harvard Crimson, March 1, 2012.  
Excerpt: Seated at Grafton Street Pub & Grill with a child-size glass of Guinness in hand, Professor Harvey Claflin Mansfield ’53, Harvard’s soft-spoken firebrand, has no intention… More

Machiavelli’s Virtue

– Robert D. Kaplan, “Machiavelli’s Virtue,” Stratfor Global Intelligence, March 20, 2013.
Excerpt: Self-interest informs compromise with other human beings, and thus a state governed by self-interest is likely to compromise with other states: whereas a person or state governed… More

The Law According to Harvey Mansfield by Richard Reinsch

– Richard Reinsch, “The Law According to Harvey Mansfield,” Library of Law and Liberty, March 28, 2013.
Excerpt: Of course the modern state heightens this tension between the arbitrariness of law and the whole of law with its constant innovations. Modern political science laid the foundations… More

Respectable Partisans of Modern Liberty by Mark Blitz

– Mark Blitz, "Respectable Partisans of Modern Liberty," Library of Law and Liberty, October 2, 2015.
Mark Blitz, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, offers a provocative essay on Harvey Mansfield’s  Statesmanship and Party Government and the political thought of… More

Multimedia

Life and Work of Harvey Mansfield

– "Life and Work of Harvey Mansfield," panel discussion with William Kristol, W. Carey McWilliams, Thomas G. West, and George F. Will, C-SPAN, 1 September 2000.

Democracy in America

– "Democracy in America," Book Notes interview with Brian Lamb, C-SPAN, 17 October 2000.
Professor Harvey Mansfield discusses his recently published translation of Democracy in America.

Is Manliness A Virtue

– "Is Manliness A Virtue," lecture, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 27 February 2004.

Conservatism Today

– "Conservatism Today," lecture, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 3 June 2005.

Oldest Conflict of All

– "Oldest Conflict of All," Harvey Mansfield and Laura Kipnis, Chicago Humanities Festival, 2006.
At the Chicago Humanities Festival in 2006, Harvey C. Mansfield sat down with feminist author Laura Kipnis to discuss Mansfield’s book Manliness, and debated modern feminism.

After Words: Manliness

– "After Words with Harvey Mansfield," interview with Naomi Wolf, C-SPAN, 15 March 2006.

Colbert Report: Manliness

– Video, interview with Stephen Colbert, Colbert Report, Comedy Central, 5 April 2006.
Harvey Mansfield and Stephen collide in a perfect storm of man musk.

Anger and Self-Importance

– "Anger and Self-Importance," lecture delivered at the Hoover Institution, 29 October 2007.
Harvey Mansfield: Anger and Self-Importance from The Hoover Institution and The Hoover Institution on FORA.tv

Friendship: Allan Bloom and Harvey Mansfield

– Video, Big Think, 5 May 2009. Time 5:46
Allan Bloom and Mansfield were close friends. Many of their students were lucky enough to study with both of them, encouraged by the other.

Big Think: Harvey Mansfield

– Video,  Series of short interviews, Big Think, 2008.
Prof. Mansfield answers a number of questions and discusses multiple topics ranging from Ancient thinkers to modern political correctness in a series of short video clips ranging from 1 to… More

Taming the Prince

– "Taming the Prince," lecture delivered to the John Marshall International Center for the Study of Statesmanship, 16 October 2009.

Role of Government

– Video, Role of Government Panel Discussion, Princeton Club, New York City, November 9, 2010.
Hosted by the New Criterion Magazine. Panelists included Harvey C. Mansfield, William Kristol and Amity Shlaes. They discussed The Federalist, Progressive era, and other constitutional… More

Harvey Mansfield 80th Birthday Conference Panel 1: Party Government

– Harvey Mansfield on his 80th Birthday: A Review of His Works.  This event is sponsored by the Program on Constitutional Government in the Department of Government, and in affiliation with the Center for American Political Studies, Harvard University.  30 March 2012.

Harvey Mansfield 80th Birthday Conference Panel 3: Executive Power

– Harvey Mansfield on his 80th Birthday: A Review of His Works.  This event is sponsored by the Program on Constitutional Government in the Department of Government, and in affiliation with the Center for American Political Studies, Harvard University.  30 March 2012.

Science and Non-Science in Liberal Education

– Harvey Mansfield "Science and Non-Science in Liberal Education," Wabash College, October 17, 2012.
Harvey Mansfield lectures at Wabash College on the scientific enterprise and its complex relationship to the liberal arts.

Jim Manzi on Science, Knowledge and Freedom

– Discussion with Jim Manzi hosted by Prof. Harvey Mansfield, Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University, 30 November 2012.
How do we know which social and economic policies work, which should be continued, and which should be changed? Jim Manzi argues that throughout history, various methods have been… More

Milestones in the History of Free Society

– Milestones in the History of Free Society -- And Prospects for Perpetuation, A conference of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University May 20 - 21, 2013.
A Public Conference in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, at Princeton University, May 20, 2013. Keynote Address by Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University,… More

Is Machiavelli a Philosopher?

– Harvey C. Mansfield "Is Machiavelli a Philosopher?" Panel hosted by Program on Constitutional Government, Harvard University, September 19, 2013.
Panel 1 (of 4) from a conference on the 500th anniversary of the writing of Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, held on Thursday, September 19, 2013 and hosted by the Program on… More

Machiavelli: The Prince of Paradox

– CBC Radio Ideas with Paul Kennedy. "Machiavelli: The Prince of Paradox" Nov 5, 2013. CBC Radio 1.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC “Ideas” radio program on Machiavelli featuring Harvey C. Mansfield, Clifford Orwin, Michelle Clarke, and Erica Brenner. Comedian Rick… More

Mansfield vs. Grade Inflation

– "Harvard Professor Gives Two Sets Of Marks To Combat Grade Inflation" interview with Harvey C. Mansfield, Here and Now, National Public Radio, December 4, 2013.
From NPR: Harvard University is back in the news for questions over grade inflation. A Harvard professor and longtime critic of grade inflation discovered yesterday that the most frequent… More

“Machiavelli’s Verità Effetuale”

– Harvey Mansfield, "Machiavelli's Verità Effetuale," University of Dallas, February 7, 2014.
Mansfield discusses Machiavelli’s notion of the “effectual truth.”

Harvey Mansfield on James Q. Wilson

– "Harvey Mansfield on James Q. Wilson," Pepperdine University,  February 28, 2014.
A two day conference at Pepperdine University, February 28 – March 1 2014, honored the legacy of James Q. Wilson and focused on his historic book The Moral Sense, and his emphasis on… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield II

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview number 2) Conversations with Bill Kristol, September 1, 2014.
In the second of an ongoing series of interviews with the Harvard professor on Conversations with Bill Kristol, Mansfield and Kristol discuss the wisdom of the Federalist, the challenges… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield III

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 3), Conversations with Bill Kristol, January 19, 2015.
In the third conversation of “Conversations with Bill Kristol’s” ongoing series with the distinguished Harvard political philosopher,  Mansfield and William Kristol… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: James Ceaser

– James Ceaser, Conversations with Bill Kristol, March 2, 2015.
In this footage from Conversations with Bill Kristol, University of Virginia political scientist James Ceaser reflects on the lives and ideas of seminal teachers of political philosophy and… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield IV

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 4), Conversations with Bill Kristol, May 11, 2015.
In the fourth instalment in an ongoing series of conversations with the Harvard government professor, Bill Kristol and Harvey Mansfield discuss the political philosopher Leo Strauss (1899… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield V

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 5), Conversations with Bill Kristol, August 31, 2015.
The fifth conversation in our ongoing series with the distinguished Harvard government professor considers the French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59). Mansfield and… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield VII

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 7), Conversations with Bill Kristol, Released: February 1, 2016.
In his seventh conversation with Kristol, Mansfield discusses the ideas behind our political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield IX

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 9) Conversations with Bill Kristol, Released: August 1, 2016.
Harvey Mansfield discusses “America’s constitutional soul” and the jurisprudence of Antonin Scalia on this episode of Conversations.

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield X

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 10), Conversations with Bill Kristol, Released: September 26, 2016.
Mansfield discusses crime and mystery novels (including those by Agatha Christie, Bill James, and Donald Westlake), P.G. Wodehouse, J.Q. Wilson, Winston Churchill as writer, and Jonathan… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield XI

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 11), Conversations with Bill Kristol, Released: December 19, 2016.
In his eleventh conversation with Bill Kristol, Mansfield discusses how political philosophy might inform our understanding of President Trump.

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield XII

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 12), Conversations with Bill Kristol, Released: April 24, 2017.
Bill Kristol interviews Harvey Mansfield about the Senate’s confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch, an event that “turned out to be a lesson in politics. You were learning from… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield XIII

– Harvey Mansfield (Interview 13), Conversations with Bill Kristol, Released: August 14, 2017.  
Bill Kristol interviews Harvey Mansfield about Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) and particularly his masterwork, Gulliver’s Travels. In this Conversation, Mansfield provides an in-depth… More

Machiavelli on Necessary Evil

– Harvey Mansfield, "Machiavelli on Necessary Evil," University of Notre Dame, November 11, 2017
Harvey Mansfield spoke on “Machiavelli on Necessary Evil” at the University of Notre Dame, part of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture fall 2018 conference.

Teaching

Courses Taught by Harvey C. Mansfield

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, 1960–1962 Political Science 209a, The Political Philosophy of Hegel Political Science 144a, British Government Political Science 293, The Political… More

Harvard Faculty Speeches, 1975-2006

View pdf version The speeches reported here were given by Harvey C. Mansfield over 31 years to meetings of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. They have been edited by him in 2012.… More