Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Political Philosophy

Harry V. Jaffa at 93

Harry V. Jaffa will be 93 years old on October 7th.  We should celebrate his long and good life--he still talks and listens, reads and writes, and goes to the gym three times a week--by noting something interesting he has said or written, or maybe something especially good that has been written about him.  I am grateful that his fine mind has made his body so rich and I'll post something every week until the week of Oct 7th, and will start with this interview (about an hour long) conducted by Edward J. Erler about ten years ago.  It is under the Liberty Fund's "Intellectual Portrait Series: Conversations with Leading Classical Liberal Figures of Our Time."  This is a fine interview.  The questions are clean and trim, and he is clear and terse, with a fine peroration on something timeless.  Happy birthday to the Old Man, and I thank him.

Discussions - 1 Comment

I am a liberal democrat, but have read Professor Jaffa's work with pleasure and with gratitude for his well-known book on the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Crisis of the House Divided.

But in my opinion, his later book on Lincoln A New Birth of Freedom (taking as its theme the Gettysburg Address), may be the best book ever written on the meaning of America.

If I were an American history professor, I would want to make that book the core text for the entire year. It has become for me, along with the Founding documents of the United States, a kind of Core Document. It is long, but well worth it.

I am a young man (64) compared to Professor Jaffa, but regret that it took me over 50 years before I heard of him and began to read his work. He has not changed my politics, but he has deepened my appreciation of thoughtful conservatism and my sadness at superficial liberalism.

God bless you, Professor Jaffa. May you live to see the country you love become better for all of us and all of our children. -- And I hope you are able to work on the 3rd volume about Lincoln and see it published in both our lifetimes.

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