Tag: American Politics

Books

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Real Change in the USA

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

Less Means Less

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

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

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.

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 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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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 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

Conservatism Today

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taming the Prince

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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

Essays

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Real Change in the USA

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

Less Means Less

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

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

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.

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 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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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 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

Conservatism Today

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taming the Prince

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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

Commentary

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Real Change in the USA

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

Less Means Less

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

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

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.

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 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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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 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

Conservatism Today

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taming the Prince

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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

Multimedia

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Real Change in the USA

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

Less Means Less

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

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

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.

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 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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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 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

Conservatism Today

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taming the Prince

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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

Teaching

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Real Change in the USA

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

Less Means Less

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

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

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.

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 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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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 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

Conservatism Today

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taming the Prince

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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