"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.
HM: Democracy in America especially is a book on political education. He says right at the beginning that it’s necessary to instruct democracy (DA 1 “Introduction,” 7). So democracy has its own instincts and he approves of them and indeed takes his cue from them rather than from theorists or intellectuals or thinkers. But, nonetheless, democracy needs to be thought through and the people who practice it need to be instructed in it. This implies that although Americans practice self-government in a way that has something to teach the rest of the world, they themselves need to be taught just what they are doing, perhaps better than they know.