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Harry V. Jaffa

Harry V. Jaffa (1918-2015) was a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute, and the author of numerous articles and books, including his widely acclaimed study of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (University of Chicago Press, 1959).

Harry V. JaffaHe was a Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Graduate School. He received his B.A. from Yale, where he majored in English, in 1939, and holds the Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research.

His other books include Thomism and Aristotelianism (Greenwood Press, 1979); The Conditions of Freedom (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), How to Think About the American Revolution (Carolina Academic Press, 1978); American Conservatism and the American Founding (Carolina Academic Press, 1982); and, most recently, Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution: A Disputed Question (Regnery Gateway, 1994), and A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).

Professor Jaffa's last published work was Crisis of the Strauss Divided: Essays on Leo Strauss and Straussianism, East and West (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).

Visit Harry V. Jaffa's author page on Amazon.com.

Articles found on this site:
The Long Arm of Socialism
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: April 27, 2016
In 1991, Harry V. Jaffa understood the dangers of socialism. ...
 
'Terminator' IRS Hounded Joe Louis Into Poverty
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: January 13, 2015
Gordon Marino, in "Boxing Pay is Featherweight Class" (Leisure & Arts, Dec. 12), writes that "the great Joe Louis, so fleeced by his managers...ended his days scrambling for a living as a greeter in a Las Vegas gambling casino." Joe Louis may have been fleeced by his manag...
 
Joseph Cropsey, Rest in Peace
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: July 18, 2012
Harry Jaffa remembers Joseph Cropsey....
 
Lincoln in Peoria
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: December 18, 2009
This article appeared in: Vol. IX, Number 4 - Fall 2009

Lewis Lehrman rediscovers the Great Emancipator’s seminal anti-slavery speech.

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The Speech That Changed the World
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 6, 2009
Jaffa's thoughts on Lincoln's Republican State Convention in Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858....
 
God Bless America
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: April 18, 2008
This article appeared in: Vol. VIII , Number 2 - Spring 2008

What Senator Obama and Reverend Wright don't know about their country.

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Macbeth and the Moral Universe
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 19, 2008
This article appeared in: Vol. VIII , Number 1 - Winter 2007/08

Macbeth is a moral play par excellence.

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The American Founding as the Best Regime
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: July 4, 2007
Harry V. Jaffa argues that America is very close to the best regime possible in practice, given the nature of the modern world. The bonding of religious and civil liberty we enjoy in America would have been impossible in the ancient world....
 
The Disputed Question
By: Harry V. Jaffa, Michael M. Uhlmann
Posted: January 9, 2007
This article appeared in: Vol. VII, Number 1 - Winter 2006/07

Harry Jaffa and Michael Uhlmann on the Supreme Court and the Declaration of Independence.

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Who Owns the Copyright to the Universe?
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: March 23, 2006
This article appeared in: Vol. VI , Number 2 - Spring 2006

Evolution in itself reveals an intelligent design.

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The Central Idea
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 19, 2006
According to Abraham Lincoln, public opinion always has a central idea from which all its minor thoughts radiate. The central idea of the American Founding—and indeed of constitutional government and the rule of law—was the equality of mankind. This thought is central to all of Lincoln&#...
 
Original Intent and the American Soul
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 4, 2006
This article appeared in: Vol. VI, Number 1 - Winter 2005/06

Harry V. Jaffa and Ralph A. Rossum on original intent jurisprudence.

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Jaffa on Intelligent Design
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: January 3, 2006
To the Editor of the Wall Street Journal: My friend Jim Wilson ("Faith in Theory" WSJ 12/24/05) is behind the curve of controversy in his flat endorsement of the decision of a Pennsylvania federal judge who "struck down efforts of a local school board to teach 'intell...
 
The Logic of the Colorblind Constitution
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: December 6, 2004
December 6, 2004 The crisis of American constitutionalism today turns on the interpretation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the jurisprudence of something called the "living constitution" has largely replaced the...
 
Wages of Sin
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: October 11, 2004
This article appeared in: Vol. IV, Number 2 - Spring 2004

A review of The Slavery Debates, 1952-1990: A Retrospective by Robert W. Fogel

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Ignoble Liars and Noble Truth-Tellers
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: August 17, 2004
Hillary Clinton's "vast right wing conspiracy" seems to have undergone a metamorphosis into a "vast Straussian neo-con conspiracy," judging from the outpouring of articles, letters, and radio and television interviews denouncing President Bush's foreign policy as a war-cr...
 
Never Before In History
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: July 2, 2004
July 2, 2004 There are rare times and places, in the long story of man, when outbursts of genius supply civilization with the supreme examples of human greatness. It is the contemplation of these that raises us to levels not unworthy of the divine image in which we are created. Such moments of su...
 
Strauss at 100
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: May 14, 2003
I. About ten years ago I had a letter from Dante Germino, asking why Strauss's students had paid so little attention to the work of Eric Voegelin. Earlier, Dante had asked me to lecture at Virginia. On that occasion he had been suddenly hospitalized. Although nothing serious had resulted, I d...
 
American Conservatism and the Present Crisis
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 12, 2003
This article appeared in: Vol. III, Number 2 Spring 2003

Restoring conservatism to first principles.

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Is Diversity Good?
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: January 17, 2003
It was gratifying that President Bush came out firmly against the University of Michigan's versions of affirmative action, and that his Justice Department filed an amicus brief to that effect. Yet the President found it necessary—in today's climate of opinion—to pay lip service t...
 
L'Envoi to Woody Hayes
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: January 3, 2003
History will record that Woody Hayes (who died March 12, 1987) and I began our careers at Ohio State the same year, 1951. No one in the press has taken note of this fact, and history is always slow about such things, so I will climb down from my pedestal that the world may be aware of this famous ju...
 
Bush's Lincolnian Challenge
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 15, 2002
George W. Bush has said he wants to change things in Washington. On this President's Day, we find him attempting this change in a most profound way. President Bush is to be commended for his recent Proclamation of National Sanctity of Human Life Day, in which he reminds his fellow citizens of th...
 
In Re Jack Kemp v. Joe Sobran on Lincoln
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: July 30, 2001
There has been an uncivil war between Joe Sobran and Jack Kemp on the question of the character of Abraham Lincoln as man and statesman. In many recent utterances Sobran has repeated things Lincoln said, mainly in the 1850's, which are presumed to show Lincoln as less of an advocate of the right...
 
The Peace Process Is Dead. Let's Bury It
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: May 24, 2001
This article appeared in: Vol. I, Number 3 - Spring 2001

The end of the Oslo Accords and the future of American policy.

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Time To Bury the Oslo Accords
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: May 22, 2001
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Tuesday called upon the Palestinian Authority to agree to a truce and return to the bargaining table. "I call on our neighbors to return to negotiations," Sharon said. "Peace requires painful concessions by both sides [and] can be achieved only a...
 
Aristotle and Locke in the American Founding
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 10, 2001
This article appeared in: Vol. I, Number 2 - Winter 2001

Harry V. Jaffa on what Crisis of the House Divided and A New Birth of Freedom have in common.

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Thoughts on Lincoln's Birthday
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: January 22, 2001
The peaceful and orderly inauguration of George W. Bush, as 43rd President of the United States, after the closest election in American history, is an event deserving thoughtful and thankful reflection. There were present on the inaugural platform former presidents of both parties, as well as the gr...
 
Campaign Reform Is Unconstitutional, No Matter What McCain May Claim
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: January 2, 2001
No recent political subject has generated more heat and less light than that of campaign financing. John McCain seems determined to make it the hallmark of his political career, doggedly pursuing in the Senate what he failed to accomplish in last year's presidential primary. But in doing so the ...
 
Why Special Interests (And the Constitution) Are Good For You
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: February 9, 2000
In the present political silly season, no subject has generated more heat and less light than that of campaign financing. Senator McCain has practically made it the center of his drive for the presidency, and Messrs. Gore and Bradley have not been far behind. The only public official who has consist...
 
Leo Strauss, the Bible, and Political Philosophy
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: October 7, 1991
Leo Strauss, the Bible, and Political Philosophy...
 
Can There Be Another Winston Churchill?
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: June 12, 1981
Dr. Harry Jaffa contemplates Churchill, statesmanship, modern politics, and the great trial of WWII and Nazi Germany....
 
Old Thinking For New Suckers
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: July 16, 2014
This article appeared in: Volume VI, No. 1 - Spring 1988

A review of Perestroika: New Thinking for our Country and the World, by Mikhail Gorbachev

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The Legacy of Leo Strauss
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: July 14, 2014
This article appeared in: Volume III, No. 3 - Fall 1984

A review of Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy,

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The Legacy of Leo Strauss Defended
By: Harry V. Jaffa
Posted: July 14, 2014
This article appeared in: Volume IV, No. 1 - Spring 1985

Harry V. Jaffa's Rejoinder: "The Legacy of Leo Strauss" Defended

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