“Ride the High Country”: An Elegy on Leadership

By |2017-12-15T22:46:23-05:00December 15th, 2017|

For students of leadership for a just society, Ride the High Country crystallizes beliefs and codes of behavior worth studying, affirming, and claiming today… If you want to know what made the statesman and military leader George Catlett Marshall (1880–1959) great, then watch Ride the High Country (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), and you will receive a taste of that knowledge. [...]

Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

By |2016-07-15T23:11:41-05:00June 24th, 2016|

Editor’s Note: On June 20, 1785, as a member of the Virginia legislature, James Madison authored the following essay. It was meant to serve as a petition expressing opposition to the idea that Virginia’s citizens should be taxed to support the state’s clergymen—a proposal that Patrick Henry had put forward. The success of Madison’s petition, which [...]

Was Lincoln a Great Statesman?

By |2015-02-11T16:19:10-05:00February 12th, 2015|

Abraham Lincoln Philosopher Statesman, Joseph R. Fornieri (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014) The twin goals of this book are so closely intertwined that it would be easy to see them as a unity. To do so would be unfortunate, however, because it would blind the reader to the important lessons Prof. Fornieri has to [...]

Policing the World

By |2018-12-26T14:20:16-05:00January 13th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Review in your memory the main episodes of nineteenth-century history and you will see how American statesmen stayed the course. Jefferson, for all his wild talk in favor of the French Revolution, announced in his inaugural, “We are all Federalists; we are all Republicans,” pledged “no entangling alliances,” clung to neutrality in the Napoleonic [...]

Bill de Blasio and the Spirit of Revolution

By |2015-01-03T00:10:50-05:00January 3rd, 2015|Tags: |

“On a sudden, the Earth yawns asunder, and amid Tartarean smoke, and glare of fierce brightness, rises Sansculottism, many-headed, fire-breathing, and asks: What think ye of me? Well may the buckram masks start together, terror-struck; ‘into expressive well-concerted groups!’ It is indeed, Friends, a most singular, most fatal thing.” Thus wrote Thomas Carlyle, reflecting [...]

Athena as Founder & Statesman

By |2018-12-26T14:48:05-05:00January 27th, 2013|Tags: |

The agency driving the threefold development of the Oresteia is human effort in partnership with divine purpose. The Athena of the third play provides the executive, personal agent who, in founding a polity, gives over divine to human providence. The great question provoked by the trilogy is the question of assigning ultimate causality, since [...]

On Statesmanship: The Case of John Adams

By |2014-12-30T18:10:44-05:00July 20th, 2012|Tags: |

John Adams What kind of person is worthy of being called a “statesman”? What type of character, what accomplishments, what life makes someone a defender of the public good within the sphere of politics and governance? I would like to consider this question in regard to a man whose life and reputation [...]