Selected Books

Manliness
By Harvey C. Mansfield
Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300106645

Editorial Reviews

"Mansfield argues that manliness-in its combination of stubbornness and rationality-provides a ground for political life. His work is a thoughtful attempt to move us to think more clearly about who we are, and about the future of our liberal society."-Mary Nichols, Baylor University

"Annoying at times (often!), but never uninteresting, this book has much of importance to say."-Arlene Saxonhouse, University of Michigan

"A work of thought as well as a provocation, Manliness deserves to be widely read, argued over, and pondered."- David Bromwich, Yale University


Democracy in America
By Alexis de Tocqueville, Harvey C. Mansfield (Editor), Delba Winthrop (Translator)
University Of Chicago Press (November 1, 2000)
ISBN: 0226805328

Editorial Reviews

Gordon S. Wood, New York Review of Books, May 17, 2001

  • “It is not the translation, however, that makes this new version vastly different from other editions; it is the editors’ substantial seventy-page introduction.  The editors have written more than a mere introduction; they have written in fact a small book, a remarkably comprehensive yet succinct study of Tocqueville’s political thought.  Their introduction is political theory o a very high order.”
  •  “In their introduction Mansfield and Winthrop have made a remarkably comprehensive and tightly argued case for Tocqueville as the greatest political theorist of democracy, a theorist who is just as relevant today as he was in the nineteenth century.”

Robert P. George, “A Liberal with Depth,” Times Literary Supplement, June 15, 2001

  • “Mansfield and Winthrop have…chosen precisely the right goals for their translation and have succeeded admirably.  Their commitment to literalism is sound.”
  • Democracy in America…deserves faithful translators, careful expositors and insightful commentators.  In Mansfield and Winthrop it has found them.”

Adam Gopnik, “The Habit of Democracy,” New Yorker, Oct 15, 2001

  • “This will be the English translation of Tocqueville for a long time, and it has the additional bonus that the introduction is as succinct an introduction to Tocqueville…as one can find.”

Harvey Mitchell, History of Political Thought, Volume XXIII, Issue 4(Winter 2002)

  • “The publication of Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop’s new translation of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, for which they have also written a valuable introduction, is an occasion for celebration.  It will allow readers who have dwelt on his words for many years and neophytes alike to experience the pleasure of understanding a rare work that is not easy to master.  Mansfield and Winthrop succeed in presenting a version that is both ‘literal and consistent’…while avoiding a translation that carries hints of overinterpretation which might, they fear, distort its meaning…the tropes, and many of their cadences, are present in this translation and clarify once again in Tocqueville’s stylistic indebtedness to Pascal, Montesquieu and Rousseau.” 

Daniel Mahoney, “Tocqueville’s Democracy,” The Weekly Standard, October 23, 2000

  • “Mansfield and Winthrop…have contributed immeasurably to that task by providing hundreds of notes and by providing an accurate and readable translation of Democracy in America, one far superior to the old editions.”
  • “The Mansfields’ faithful rendering of his style allows English readers to appreciate for the first time Tocqueville’s approach.” 


Machiavelli’s Virtue

By Harvey C. Mansfield
University Of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (March 25, 1998)
ISBN: 0226503690

Editorial Reviews
Timothy Fuller, American Political Science Review, Vol. 91, no. 4, December 1997

  • “Mansfield is among the foremost contemporary Machiavelli scholars and also the most provocative and controversial.  First, he is an avowed admirer of Leo Strauss’s views on Machiavelli.  Careful readers will see, though, that he does not merely repeat things Strauss said.  He is a translator of and commentator on Machiavelli’s most important works, an original contributor in a school of philosophical thinking that has many variations…At the same time, he also writes for or to his age, which he cares about deeply….”Mansfield’s persistence in challenging many assumptions of modern thought, and his refusal to make the reception of Machiavelli easy, is unavoidably provocative and also important.”

Jeremy Waldron, “Politics Can Be Hell,” London Review of Books, August 22, 1996

  • “It is a virtue o Harvey Mansfield’s book that it makes most of this perfectly clear.  For Mansfield, Machiavelli simply is what he has always been popularly regarded as: a theorist of statesmanship, not a theorist of citizenship.”

Anthony Parel, The Review of Politics, Spring 1997

  • “Many illuminating pages in Mansfield’s works are devoted to an examination of the far-reaching consequences of Machiavelli’s political philosophy. Here are the more important ones: a change in the meaning of virtue, the phenomenon of the primacy of foreign policy over domestic policy, the modern notions of the “political,” the state, the executive.  The chapters in part four are among the best there is in speculative writings on Machiavellianism.”

Roger D. Masters, Ethics, July 1997

  • “Because Harvey Mansfield’s analyses and translations have so deeply informed our understanding of Machiavelli, this collection of essays is welcome.  Those who have read Mansfield’s earlier works will not be surprised by his claim that Machiavelli is a major philosopher in the fullest sense of the word…among those comprehensive original thinkers who formed Western civilization.  Mansfield thus breaks harpy with those who treat Machiavelli as nothing but a political strategist or a perennial advisor focused on gaining a job or giving practical advice to ambitious, scrupulous rulers.”

Taming the Prince

By Harvey C. Mansfield
The Johns Hopkins University Press; Reprint edition (April 1, 1993)
ISBN: 0801845890 

Editorial Reviews

 Christopher Cox, The Wall Street Journal, A, December 29, 1989

  • “With chilling candor, Mr. Mansfield shows the development of his lawless prince into our American constitutional executive.  By thus “taming” the prince, he suggests, we have succeeded in defining the executive’s role, while permitting him the freedom to pursue virtue in a modern version of Aristotle’s responsible rule…’No law or system can actually ensure the behavior it summons,’ he concludes in this thoughtful and provocative book, ‘without depending on an executive who is at least in part outside the law and not explained by the system.’”

 Terry Eastland, Washington Times, E7, August 14, 1989

  • “This is a book of enormous learning and insight that deserves to be read by all those interested in the American Presidency…One could not ask for a better guide through this formidable intellectual territory than Harvey C. Mansfield Jr….No one who writes about the presidency can claim to write intelligently about its occupants or the power they wield without having read this book.” 

Steven Hayward, Reason, August/September 1990

  • Taming the Prince explores the largely ignored territory of the ambivalence or ambiguity of modern executive power…Beyond the consideration of the formal and informal aspects of political executives, Mansfield makes a serious philosophical argument about executive power…For Mansfield, executive power is the keystone to the rule of law and successful politics.  In light of Mansfield’s powerful argument, libertarians need to confront and ‘tame’ executive power for themselves.”

Glen Thurow, “Thinking Through the Modern Executive,” Review of Politics

  • Taming the Prince is perhaps the most penetrating study of executive power ever written.  In laying bare the foundations of one of the three powers of the American government and showing that it represents a comprehensive choice about politics, Mansfield’s argument leads to a reassessment not only of executive power in general, but of the character of modern republicanism—indeed, of modern politics altogether.  At the same time he offers a demonstration of the proper way to understand political institutions.” 
  • “This book ought to be read by all those enamored by the current trend toward multiculturalism, for one of its concerns is how to get outside the parochial opinions that rule us.  Mansfield shows that not only do the opinions invented by Machiavelli and his successors rule our republic, but that these modern political scientists who study executive power fail to get outside these opinions….Mansfield shows that the first step in escaping this cultural imprisonment is not to set our opinions aside for someone else’s, but paradoxically to take our opinions more seriously.”

Michael Foley, American Politics Review, No. 24, September 1990

  • “The book is a very impressive work of sustained scholarship.  In it Mansfield shows that Machiavelli’s fearfully functional Prince has been tamed and inveigled into a constitutional cage, albeit with the door left ajar.   Mansfield strides through enormously difficult and demanding terrain with a learned assurance and a clear sense of direction.  He simultaneously mixes philosophical enquiry, intellectual history, logical analysis and moral prescription…Mansfield’s study will undoubtedly become a classic text on the origin, meanings, motivations and consequences of executive power.” 

Alan Ryan, “President Machiavelli,” The New Republic, October 16, 1989

  • “[Harvey Mansfield] is lively, imaginative, and clever, and he writes with great zest…with a verve and a vigor appropriate to his subject.  He is particularly good and wholly persuasive on Machiavelli’s emphasis on the visible employment of unabashed and uninhibited power.”


America’s Constitutional Soul

By Harvey C. Mansfield
The Johns Hopkins University Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 1993)
ISBN: 080184634X

Editorial Reviews

David A. Nordquest, Review of Politics, Summer 1992

  • “The essays collected in Professor Mansfield’s new book represent his efforts over the last ten years to come to grips with the ‘galloping informality or increasing democratism of our politics’...Although most of this material has been published previously, the essays are deeply reflective, bear on an important common issue, and advance a fruitful, if currently neglected, method of interpreting both the Constitution and departures from it.  The collection is, therefore, most welcome.”
  • “The essays in America’s Constitutional Soul demonstrate the relevance of constitutional forms to a wide variety of problems.  As essays, they do not themselves present the systematic account of forms one glimpses behind them.  However, they amply repay careful study.”

 Herbert Sloan, Political Science Quarterly, Winter 1992

  • “Mansfield’s take on the Constitution is thus in opposition to most of the discussion occasioned by the recent bicentennial, and his refreshing refusal to accept the standard pieties makes his essays worth reading.”
  • “Mansfield has his remedies: strong doses of political theory for those who ought to understand the Constitution better than they do and a healthy measure of self-reliance for Americans too inclined to rely on government…Still, Mansfield is out to provoke as much as to cure, and in this he succeeds very well indeed.”

Michael Foley, Political Studies, XL (1992)

  • “Harvey C. Mansfield displays his formidable intellectualism and classical scholarship in support of the proposition that the American constitution possesses a formal truth drawn from its foundations and exerted through its development. …To Mansfield, individual rights are there to be freely exercised by individuals.  A free society should tolerate the exertion of such rights.”
  • “In what is a provocatively trenchant book, Mansfield takes relish in propelling his readers down the rats’ maze of liberal arguments supporting a conservative outlook.  Herein lies the real soul of American Politics.”

John Marini, Political Communication, January-March 1993

  • “Professor Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr. is one of the few scholars who has reflected seriously on the nature of constitutionalism and liberal democracy.  In doing so, he has exposed the shortcoming of the modern practice of American politics, as well as its theory.  In this recent collection of essays brought together in a book entitled America’s Constitutional Soul, Mansfield identifies what he perceives to be the greatest necessity of contemporary American politics. ‘What we need is comprehensive reflection on the nature, and the ways and means of self-government.  This reflection can begin from the wisdom of the Constitution and its practices.’ Mansfield provides such a reflection in the course of the essays included in this volume.” 
  • “Mansfield’s work shows what it takes to understand and do justice to constitutionalism.  The failure to take seriously his analysis of the form and substance of constitutionalism may lead to the end of constitutional government.”

 Wilson Carey McWilliams, Political Theory, August 1992

  • America’s Constitutional Soul is a sustained reflection on modern constitutionalism, and Mansfield’s argument is subtle and intricate, as sharp-edged and pointed as a crystal chandelier, full of lights and shadows, a fine, provoking contribution to political dialogue…Mansfield aims to defend the Constitution against the slights and scorns of political and social science and, especially, to restore respect for its forms and formalities.”
  • “Even advocates of government intervention, however, may admire Mansfield’s teaching that American constitutionalism, battered by forces that it helped create, needs a political soul, a moral gyroscope.  Mansfield holds up the ideal of the volunteer, one who acts responsibly within situations that he or she did not chose an din the process minimizes the need for government…In any case, the voluntarism that Mansfield champions depends on an act of will not supported by, if not contrary to, the logic of the regime: the soul of constitutionalism, in the end, relies on souls with their own sources of dignity and pride.”