Teacher-Scholar of the Democratic Republic by Herbert Garfinkel

Herbert Garfinkel. "Martin Diamond: Teacher-Scholar of the Democratic Republic." Publius 8.3 (Summer 1978): 123-27.


A textbook may not seem a noteworthy part of one’s legacy, but Martin Diamond’s extraordinary impact as a teacher shines through even so prosaic a tool. Moreover, the substance of Diamond’s teaching, no less than its zestful flavor, is brilliantly articulated in his contributions to The Democratic Republic.

Why add yet another offering to the plentiful supply of college-level American government texts? And why take time from more scholarly and more professionally rewarding work to churn out yet another introductory book? The answer was unclear when first discussed with Morton Grodzins, the political science editor for Rand McNally in 1959. And it became even murkier as the years of on and off writing dragged by. Martin used to joke that “even if we sold the movie rights, we’d still net a nickel an hour.” Never facile writers, it was a painful albeit necessary effort. And its necessity derived increasingly from a sense of professional duty apart from the initial monetary incentive.