The Problem of Reading in an Age of Mass Democracy

"The Problem of Reading in an Age of Mass Democracy." The 34th Yearbook of the Claremont Reading Conference. Claremont, Calif.: Claremont Men's College, 1970.

In this presentation to a group of teachers (published in the proceedings of the 1970 Claremont Reading Conference), Diamond draws upon Tocqueville’s analysis of the new age of democratic equality to describe the problem it creates for enterprises like teaching, which reflect the fundamental inegalitarianism of human nature. The two may be reconciled, Diamond suggests, within a decent, modest understanding of democracy and equality—one that respects and rewards Thomas Jefferson’s “natural aristocracy.”

National Affairs [pdf]
AEI Program on American Citizenship [pdf]