Makers of American Political Thought Series posted April 8, 2013
James Madison: Father of the Constitution
James Madison is generally regarded as the father of the United States Constitution. No other delegate was better prepared for the Federal Convention of 1787, and no one contributed more than Madison to shaping the ideas and contours of the document or to explaining its meaning.
In 1787 and 1788, Madison authored, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the Federalist…
Makers of American Political Thought Series posted March 14, 2013
Herbert D. Croly: Apostle of Progressivism
Herbert David Croly (1869–1930) was one of the most influential public intellectuals of the Progressive movement in the early 20th century, but his influence was not limited to his own era. Croly’s ideas were also instrumental in shaping President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Following the 1932 election, there was widespread consensus that Croly’s ideas had been a…
Makers of American Political Thought Series posted February 20, 2013
Calvin Coolidge: Forefather of Our Conservatism
Calvin Coolidge is the only President in American history born on the Fourth of July. It is appropriate that he bears this distinction, since Coolidge—more so than any other President of the 20th century—embodied a dedication to the principles that the Founders fought to establish in the American Revolution. In addition, he lived at a time when these principles came under…
Makers of American Political Thought Series posted December 18, 2012
William F. Buckley Jr.: Conservative Icon
William F. Buckley Jr. was the renaissance man of modern American conservatism. He was the founder and editor in chief of National Review, a syndicated columnist, the host of Firing Line (TV’s longest-running weekly public-affairs program), the author of more than 50 books, and a college lecturer for nearly five decades. His mighty stream of words is almost surely…
Makers of American Political Thought Series posted September 24, 2012
Theodore Roosevelt: Progressive Crusader
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States (1901–1909), was the youngest and arguably most energetic man ever to fill that office. Growing up in the Gilded Age, he regarded commercial ideals as “mean and sordid” and brought these sensibilities with him into public life. A firm believer in what he called the manly virtues, he urged his countrymen to fight…
Makers of American Political Thought Series posted September 4, 2012
American Statesman: The Enduring Relevance of George Washington
George Washington was by all accounts “the indispensable man” of the American Founding. He was the military commander who led a ragtag Continental army to victory against the strongest and best trained military force in the world. Crucial to the success of the Constitutional Convention, his personal support of the new Constitution, more than anything else, assured its…
Makers of American Political Thought Series posted July 31, 2012
Woodrow Wilson: Godfather of Liberalism
It has become fashionable today for those who once called themselves “liberals” to refer to themselves instead as “progressives.” This is a phenomenon evident both among our politicians and among our intellectual class.
In the 2008 presidential primary campaign, Hillary Clinton was asked whether she was a “liberal”; she distanced herself from that term (which still…