Crisis of the House Divided

Michael M. Uhlmann, First Things, March 2000.


Harry V. Jaffa has few peers as a student of the American Founding and none as the expositor of the Declaration of Independence and the statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln. He first established these credentials forty“one years ago with the publication of Crisis of the House Divided , which is, simply stated, the best commentary on American politics written in this century”indeed, since the death of Lincoln himself. Dismissed by the left as irredeemably unenlightened, and criticized by many on the right as suspiciously egalitarian, Jaffa has responded to both by arguing that the case for constitutional government cannot be understood or sustained without affirming the truths set forth in the preamble to the Declaration. The only alternative, he contends with eloquence and at times passionate intensity, is tyranny, whether of the few or the many.

First Things