Tag: America

Major Works

  • Two Treatises of Government

    - Recommended edition: Two Treatises of Government, ed. Peter Laslett (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988).
    Excerpt: Thou hast here the beginning and end of a discourse concerning government; what fate has otherwise disposed of the papers that should have filled up the middle, and were more than all the rest, it is not worth while to tell thee. These, which… More


  • “The Forms and Formalities of Liberty”

    - Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., "The Forms and Formalities of Liberty" The Public Interest 70 (1983), 121-131.
    Excerpt: “The populism I have described as aggressive informality is fundamentally opposed to constitutionalism, which promotes respect for forms above all. Governing in a constitutional manner is governing regularly, that is, formally. Locke wrote… More
  • “A ‘Non-Lockean’ Locke and the Character of Liberalism”

    - Nathan Tarcov, “A ‘Non-Lockean’ Locke and the Character of Liberalism,” in Liberalism Reconsidered, ed. Douglas MacLean and Claudia Mills (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Allanheld, 1983).
    Excerpt: Misunderstanding of Lockean liberalism helps to stimulate not only the historical search for non-Lockean elements in the American tradition, but also the dissatisfaction with liberalism. Not everyone can be satisfied by an understanding of man as an… More
  • “Constitutional Government: The Soul of Modern Democracy”

    - Harvey Mansfield, "Constitutional Government: The Soul of Modern Democracy," The Public Interest 86 (1987), 53-64.
    Excerpt: How did it come about that virtue is not required but somehow expected under our Constitution? To explain our embarrassment with the notion of “virtue,” we must see why modern democracy is unhappy with the word “soul.” For… More
  • Taming the Prince: The Ambivalence of Modern Executive Power

    - Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., 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)
    From the publisher: This survey of Western political thought ranges from Aristotle to “The Federalist Papers”, showing how the doctrine of executive power arose and how it has developed to the present day. Although there were various… More
  • “Locke and the Legislative Principle”

    - Walter Berns, "Locke and the Legislative Principle," The Public Interest 100 (1990), 147-156.
    Excerpt: Like so many of our political principles, this idea of legislative superiority (but not supremacy) derives from John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. Locke began, as did his predecessor Thomas Hobbes, with an analysis of the condition… More
  • The Spirit of Modern Republicanism

    - Thomas Pangle, The Spirit of Modern Republicanism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).
    The Spirit of Modern Republicanism sets forth a radical reinterpretation of the foundations on which the American regime was constructed. Thomas L. Pangle argues that the Founders had a dramatically new vision of civic virtue, religious faith, and… More
  • The Liberal Tradition in America

    - Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America (New York: Mariner Books, 1991).
    Hartz’s influential interpretation of american political thought since the Revolution. He contends that America gave rise to a new concept of a liberal society, a “liberal tradition” that has been central to our experience of events both at home and… More
  • The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution by Bernard Bailyn

    - Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992).
    The leaders of the American Revolution, writes the distinguished historian Bernard Bailyn, were radicals. But their concern was not to correct inequalities of class or income, not to remake the social order, but to “purify a corrupt constitution and… More
  • America’s Constitutional Soul

    - Harvey Mansfield, America's Constitutional Soul (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991).
    Excerpt: The institutional political science of our day, with its studies of constituted groups and accidental eddies of interaction in politics, is part of, and heir to, a grand movement in modern political science dating from Hobbes and Locke of which it… More
  • “The Family in John Locke’s Political Thought”

    - Jacqueline Pfeffer, “The Family in John Locke’s Political Thought,” Polity 33 (2001), 593-618.
    What might attention to Locke’s political thought contribute to contemporary debates about the family? I consider the original Lockean understanding of the role of family in civil society as presented in Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and… More
  • Launching Liberalism: On Lockean Political Philosophy

    - Michael Zuckert, Launching Liberalism: On Lockean Political Philosophy (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2002).
    In this volume, prominent political theorist Michael Zuckert presents an important and pathbreaking set of meditations on the thought of John Locke. In more than a dozen provocative essays, many appearing in print for the first time, Zuckert explores the… More
  • Was Leo Strauss Wrong About John Locke?

    - James R. Stoner, Jr., "Was Leo Strauss Wrong About John Locke," Claremont Review of Books (December 2002).
    Excerpt: Was Leo Strauss wrong about John Locke?  Surely that he was has been the consensus among historians of political thought, though their reasons are sometimes at variance.  The Cambridge school, influenced by the work of John Dunn, interprets… More
  • The Machiavellian Moment

    - JGA Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975).
    Excerpt: “At this point is it appropriate to bring in the name of Locke. In the Two Treatises of Government, published if not written nine or so years before this debate, he had argued that societies formed by the simple occupation and cultivation of… More
  • Duty Bound

    - Mark Blitz, Duty Bound: Responsibility and American Public Life, Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.
    From the publisher: In this timely and enlightening new work, Mark Blitz explores the link between character and politics in liberal democracies, focusing on the importance of responsibility in American public and professional life. He begins by analyzing the… More