American Political Thought
Engage key texts that have helped shape the political idea – and political ideals – of America.
The series of newspaper essays collectively known as The Federalist are rightly regarded as classics of American political thought. Standing alone, however, they are only one half of a notable conversation. We will try to uncover the differing presuppositions, hopes, and fears of those who debated whether to replace the existing Articles of Confederation with the proposed Constitution of the United States.
Ralph Lerner on liberty in the Declaration of Independence
Ralph Lerner is the Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus in the College and professor emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He is the author, most recently, of Naïve Readings: Reveilles Political and Philosophic (University of Chicago Press).
Ralph Lerner is the Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus in the College and Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
His books include The Founders’ Constitution (co-edited with Philip B. Kurland), The Thinking Revolutionary: Principle and Practice in the New Republic, Revolutions Revisited: Two Faces of the Politics of Enlightenment, and Maimonides’ Empire of Light: Popular Enlightenment in an Age of Belief. He is the author, most recently, of Naïve Readings: Reveilles Political and Philosophic.
He attended public school in Chicago, received his degrees in political science at the University of Chicago, and had a year of post-graduate study of medieval Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. He has served in the U.S. Army. All of his teaching has been at the University of Chicago, apart from visiting appointments at Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard universities and a visiting lectureship at the Institut Raymond Aron. He has received fellowship awards from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Humanities Center. He has received a Quantrell Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.
Explore the central ideas that have given shape to American democracy.
Explore the debates within conservative legal thought on the courts and the Constitution.
Study five landmark Supreme Court cases with a view to exploring how politics and law interact.
Explore the intellectual roots of modern conservatism.
Explore how societal trends and political parties have reshaped the character of America's partisan attachments.
Darren Staloff is Professor of History at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Professor Staloff has published numerous papers and reviews on the subject of early American history.
James W. Ceaser
James W. Ceaser is Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has written several books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential Selection and Liberal Democracy and Political Science.
William Kristol is editor at large of The Weekly Standard, which, together with Fred Barnes and John Podhoretz, he founded in 1995. Mr. Kristol has served as chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States and to the Secretary of Education. Before coming to Washington in 1985, Kristol taught politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Adam J. White
Adam J. White is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and an Assistant Professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he also directs the Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
Matthew Continetti is Editor in Chief of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon, he was Opinion Editor of The Weekly Standard, where he remained a Contributing Editor. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
Daniel DiSalvo is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at The City College of New York-CUNY. His scholarship focuses on American political parties, elections, labor unions, state government, and public policy.