Well, I’ve been busy. I gave the keynote lecture and mentored and all that at the ISI Honors Program in Quebec City (which is a very pretty and enjoyable mixture of contemporary American convenience and European charm--without any obvious displays of the decadence of either). My topic was "Building Better Than They Knew" or the relationship between our country and the true science of natural law. And then I went to Boulder (like Quebec, basically a theme park for the casual visitor) for ISI/Miller Center Program on Teaching American Studies for young faculty and advanced graduate students. There I sort of talked about Tocquevlle, Locke and Darwin and how our founding appears to us today.
I mention these programs because surely there are many readers of NLT who should apply to next year’s versions of them.
Our Ivan the K was in Boulder. Ralph Hancock, who’s telling the tough truth about Rawls, justice, and the good in the thread below, gave a stunning, lucid, and unmoody lecture in Quebec on Strauss and the emerging field of post-Straussian studies. You can’t miss Ralph’s witty and pathbreaking critical overview of some recent studies on Strauss in the next POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEWER. Paul Seaton (Gary’s impoverished [by comparison] brother) and Marc Guerra also have excellent essays in that issue.
Dan Mahoney was also as authoritative and charming as usual in both Quebec and Boulder on every book ever written, but mostly on those by Pierre Manent and Orestes Brownson.
The most manly, most stylish, and fittest man in Boulder was Harvey Mansfield, who gave six hours worth of funny, deep, and provocative presentations in a a 24-hour period. Well, maybe Jim Ceaser was even more stylish in his own way, and certainly he was everywhere looking over everything.
The honors undergrad fellow from Berry College, Tricia Steele, took buses from Newark to Quebec and back rather than miss the program. In Boulder, Berry grads include the only woman professor (Jocelyn Evans) and Baylor graduate students David Ramsey and Elizabeth Amato.