This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., Professor of Government at Harvard and author of more than a dozen books, including America’s Constitutional Soul and Manliness. Harvey Mansfield matriculated at Harvard in 1949 and—mirabile dictu—has been there ever since. Today, Professor Mansfield on what happened to Harvard.
When I first arrived at Harvard in 1949, the Harvard faculty consisted of liberals of an older kind, most of them Cold War liberals. These were liberals who were willing to endorse the New Deal, but proud of the United States all the same. They had a sense of national morale and were willing to deploy American force abroad. Then came the nineteen-sixties. Most of the old liberals succumbed to the siren call of the New Left. They placed the protesting youth in charge of the University. The view of the New Left was to not be proud of the country but to defy it.