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.


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 medieval political philosophy.

Courtly and serious in a dark gray suit, Mr. Mansfield paced in front of the blackboard, gazing sternly into the faces of the more than five dozen students who showed up, most of them white and male.

”This course is trans-millennial,” he began, gently ridiculing the faddishness of millennium-related discussions. ”We’re interested in the permanent significance. We’re interested in what belongs to every millennium.”