Harvey Mansfield Articles

Mansfield on Politics

3:31 PM, Feb 01, 2016
This morning, in the boss's weekly newsletter Bill previewed his latest conversation with political scientist Harvey Mansfield. Read more

Marshmallow and Commander?

Feb 08, 2016

Meanwhile, at Harvard .  .  . We note that a frequent and valued contributor to these pages, Harvey C. Mansfield, has weighed in on the controversy there over the renaming of the House Masters (overseers, if you can forgive that word, of the college's undergraduate residences). Mansfield offered some constructive suggestions in a letter to the editor of the Crimson, which we reprint here:

To the Editors of The Crimson:
To aid in the furious thinking going on in the administration for a name to replace "Master" of a House, I would like to propose a College competition to decide a suitable replacement.
To start things off, I will offer two possible new titles: "Marshmallow"

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Turning Point

Is Lucretius the gateway to the modern world?
Feb 13, 2012

Stephen Greenblatt’s book on the influence of Lucretius is clever and curious—and notable for the ambition expressed in its title. Written as a scholar’s lecture but with a writer’s finesse in its many useful asides and pleasing digressions, his account of the Roman poet-

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A Conversation With Harvey Mansfield

5:31 AM, Dec 07, 2015

The latest Conversation With Bill Kristol, featuring Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield:

"In this conversation, Mansfield explains why we should consider Machiavelli not only the founder of modern politics but also a founder of modern science and economics. What was the character of Machiavelli's critique of Christian morality? Why did he reject the political teaching of the ancient political philosophers like Plato and Aristotle? Harvey Mansfield addresses these and other questions in this provocative discussion of one of the most famous political thinkers of all time," writes the Foundation for Constitutional Government, the sponsor of the series.

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Mansfield on Tocqueville

7:11 AM, Sep 04, 2015

Writing in his weekly newsletter, the boss plugged the latest episode of Conversations with Bill Kristol

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Dressing Up

The only commencement speech you’ll ever need
Jun 29, 2015

These commencement remarks were delivered at the
John Adams Academy, a charter high school in Roseville,
California, on June 5.

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'Our Parties, Part Two'

8:39 AM, Jun 11, 2015

Harvey Mansfield, writing for City Journal

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A Conversation With Harvey Mansfield on Leo Strauss

11:49 AM, May 11, 2015

The latest episode of Conversations Will Bill Kristol, featuring Harvey Mansfield on Leo Strauss:

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Scholars of American Politics

The contributions of Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa.
Feb 09, 2015

Two friends of mine, Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa, died on January 10. They had not been on friendly terms for many years, but death took them together. They were joined also by being leaders, with Herbert Storing, Martin Diamond, and Ralph Lerner, of a group of a dozen or so students of Leo Strauss (who died in 1973), the philosopher who revived philosophy and especially political philosophy from decline and irrelevance.

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A Conversation With Harvey Mansfield on Party Government and Modern Political Philosophy

1:32 PM, Jan 27, 2015

The latest from Conversations With Bill Kristol, featuring Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield:

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Feminism and Its Discontents

‘Rape culture’ at Harvard
Jun 30, 2014

Feminism is in control of America’s colleges and universities, where its principles at least are held as dogmas unquestioned and unopposed. Yet in what should be a paradise with those principles at work, women speak of a “rape culture” that sounds like the patriarchal hell we thought we’d left behind.

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A Gentleman’s A+

Dec 16, 2013

Last week, a headline in the Harvard Crimson confirmed that Harvard is continuing its depressing slide from an elite educational institution to a really expensive way to boost the self-esteem of America’s overachieving youth: “Substantiating Fears of Grade Inflation, Dean Says Median Grade at Harvard College Is A-, Most Common Grade Is A.” The plain facts here are bad enough, but should you want further confirmation that today’s Harvard students aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are, The Scrapbook would refer you to the embarrassing editorial the student newspape

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Article of the Year: Mansfield's ‘Machiavelli's Enterprise’

6:40 AM, Oct 16, 2013

On board the ms Noordam sailing from Italy to Greece, with a break from both sightseeing and panels, it seemed advisable to me 1) to ignore the goings-on in Washington, and 2) to find time for an article I'd set aside to read, Harvey Mansfield's "Machiavelli's enterprise" in the October New Criterion. Mansfield uses the occasion of the 500th anniversary of The Prince to provide an explanation of the famous first paragraph of its fifteenth chapter. In doing so, Mansfield provides an extraordinarily compressed but accessible account of Machiavelli's significance as the founder of modern philosophy and of the modern world. It's my pick for best article of the year.

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'The Crisis of American Self-Government'

4:17 PM, Dec 01, 2012

Sohrab Ahmari interviews Harvey Mansfield for the Wall Street Journal:

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Obama’s Ennui

And Romney’s achievement.
Oct 15, 2012



Two things were notable in the debate on October 3: the ennui of Barack Obama and the twist made by Mitt Romney.

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BS in New Zealand

Social science run amok.
Jun 18, 2012


Actually BS here stands for “benevolent sexism.” An article by two New Zealand psychologists has come my way that deserves to become a classic of social science. The title “Why are Benevolent Sexists Happier?” promised to warm my conservative heart, and it did​—​but not so much with approbation as with wonder at the whole enterprise of social science.

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Political Scientist, Par Excellence

James Q. Wilson, 1931-2012.
Mar 12, 2012

James Q. Wilson, a longtime teacher in the government department at Harvard, and an all-time political scientist, has died. He was a Californian who went to college at the University of Redlands, got his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, and then came to Harvard. At the end of his career, he went back home, taught at UCLA and Pepperdine, and with his wife Roberta, made a dream home in Malibu.

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A Man at Harvard

8:01 AM, Mar 01, 2012

As his 80th birthday approaches, TWS contributor and friend (and my teacher) Harvey Mansfield is profiled in the Harvard Crimson. It's a perceptive and fair article, and provides further evidence for the hopeful view that today's students are surprisingly open-minded and intelligent despite—or because of—the fog of political correctness and intellectual vapidity that has descended on the faculties and administrations of our great universities.

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Manliness and Morality

The transgressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Jun 06, 2011

What with Arnold and DSK, male transgression is once again in the news. Let’s not equate the two cases—one is forgivable, the other, if the accusations are true, is not. Together with these male transgressions is the reaction to them, still more interesting. The reaction shows the power of morality to produce disgust and disgrace at the sight of these male weaknesses. Even though morality can’t prevent such excesses, it won’t let go of us.

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