Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 3, May/June

A Maritime Town
In the 1880s, Searsport, Maine, boasted eleven noisy shipyards, numerous sailing vessels in various states of construction, and an unusual claim to fame-10 percent of the nation's deep-water merchant captains hailed from the small town, which had a population...
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A Roundup of Activities
Sponsored by the State Humanities CouncilsALABAMAThis year's Alabama Writers Symposium at Alabama Southern Community College in Monroeville is held May 3 through 5. Events include panel discussions, poetry readings, musical performances, a theatrical...
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Balancing Manliness
The danger in unemployed manliness comes from too little manliness and too much of it. Too little manliness would follow from the success of the modern project of rational control, for the very meaning of rational control is to do away with erratic,...
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BEYOND Unsinkable
THE REAL MOLLY BROWNMARGARET TOBIN BROWN enjoyed the rumors people spread about her, says Kerri Atter, director of the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver, Colorado. "She knew they said she burned up money in her stove. But she just laughed it off. She...
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Defining Political Philosophy
Politics always has political philosophy lying within it, waiting to emerge. So far as we know, however, it has emerged just once, with Socrates-but that event left a lasting impression. It was a "first." I stress the connection between politics and...
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Honor above All
Bitter that his talents were being wasted, Alexander Hamilton wrote to his friend Edward Stevens, "To confess my weakness, Ned, my ambition is so prevalent that I disdain the groveling conditions of a clerk to which my fortune condemns me. I would willingly...
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In Focus
Jan Fedewa: Discovering Untold StoriesJan Fedewa's interest in stories and storytelling goes back to her childhood, growing up on a farm in Kansas and hearing her grandmother's tales of Fedewa's greatgrandparents."They met on a steamboat," Fedewa explains....
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Marketing Tyranny
Executive power is power exercised in the name of someone or something else-God or the people or the law. We sometimes forget this fact and cover it up when we speak of "the executive," simply, without specifying of what. And in contemporary American...
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Measuring Prudence
Change is the most powerful natural law, but natural law is not simply change; it is a refraction of natural rights. Men maintain contact with their original natural rights through natural law, though this connection is not direct. When Burke says that...
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Of Mansfield and Machiavelli
"I remember when I was a freshman, one of the teaching assistants in a government course I took said, 'It's in the cards for you to become a political scientist,'" says Harvey Mansfield, the 2007 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. "I don't remember...
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Philosophy as a Way of Life
A student who attends Harvard today might think of Harvey Mansfield as a tough-grading conservative who defends manliness on late night television. But in the early 1960s, many Harvard professors were tough graders, highbrows regarded television as a...
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Questioning Machiavelli
How can an author be a prince? How can the author of The Prince be considered one among the many princes he describes? An author and a prince seem quite distinct. One leads a soft, retired life thinking of intangibles and invisibles-as sheltered an existence...
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Spying on the Merchant Class
In 1827 Lewis Tappan went broke in the textile business. To recover, the son of a devout Calvinist Massachusetts family took a job managing credit for his elder brother Arthur's silk import business in New York. Over the next few years, the brothers...
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Translating Politics: A Conversation with Harvey Mansfield
NEH Chairman Bruce Cole recently spoke with this year's Jefferson Lecturer, Harvey Mansfield, about his love of political philosophy and the importance of liberal education. Mansfield has taught at Harvard University for more than forty years and is...
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