Love, Friendship & Politics

This year, the Tocqueville Program will continue its examination of three fundamental forms of human association: love, friendship, and politics. While love and friendship have long been thought essential to human happiness, politics has been derided as “the systematic organization of hatreds.” In our time, politics so understood threatens to crowd out all other modes of human association: our personal loves have become partisan issues, and friendship across party lines seems increasingly rare.

Understanding this danger, wise lawgivers have long paid the closest attention to love and friendship, which can check partisanship and even supersede the pursuit of distributive justice. In our bitterly divided political moment, can we attain a more elevated understanding of politics by understanding it in the light these other forms of human association?

2018-2019 Lecturers

Ralph C. Hancock: “Christianity and the Political Life”

Ralph Hancock holds degrees from BYU and Harvard, and has taught political philosophy at Brigham Young University since 1987; he is also President of the John Adams Center for the Study of Faith, Philosophy and Public Affairs, an independent educational foundation ( His books include The Responsibility of Reason: Theory and Practice in a Liberal-Democratic Age (Rowman & Littlefield) and Calvin and the Foundations of Modern Politics (paperback edition at Saint Augustine’s Press); he has also translated numerous works from French. Dr. Hancock is also a contributing editor of the quarterly Perspectives on Political Science and an editor at the online scholarly journal, which addresses public affairs for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Alexander Nehamas: “Metaphors in Life: ‘I Love You for Yourself’”

Alexander Nehamas is the Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. His interests include Greek philosophy, philosophy of art, European philosophy and literary theory. Dr. Nehamas was born in Athens, Greece, graduated from Athens College, and attended Swarthmore College and Princeton University, where he received his Ph.D.  His books include Nietzsche: Life as LiteratureThe Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to FoucaultVirtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and SocratesOn Friendship and Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art.  He has also translated Plato’s Symposium and Phaedrus into English.  At Princeton, he has chaired the Council of the Humanities, the Program in Hellenic Studies, and he was the Founding Director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts.

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Diana Schaub: “Friendship, Race, and Political Justice”

Diana Schaub is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Jill and Boyd Smith Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society. In 2001, she was the recipient of the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters. From 2004 to 2009 she was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics. She is the author of Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (Rowman and Littlefield, 1995), along with a number of book chapters and articles in the fields of political philosophy and American political thought. She is co-editor (with Amy and Leon Kass) of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (ISI, 2011). Dr. Schaub is a contributing editor at The New Atlantis, and her work has also appeared in National AffairsThe New CriterionThe Public InterestThe American Enterprise, the Claremont Review of BooksCommentaryFirst ThingsThe American Interest, and City Journal. She earned an AB from Kenyon College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

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William Deresiewicz: “College and the Inner Life”

William Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and critic, a frequent college speaker, and the best-selling author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. He taught English at Yale and Columbia before becoming a full-time writer in 2008. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe AtlanticHarper’sThe NationThe New RepublicThe American ScholarThe London Review of Books, and elsewhere. He has won the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, the Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and a Sydney Award; he is also a three-time National Magazine Award nominee. His work has been translated into at least 15 languages and anthologized in more than 30 college readers. He has spoken at over 60 colleges, high schools, and educational groups and has held visiting positions at Bard, Scripps, and Claremont McKenna Colleges.

His previous book is A Jane Austen Education. He is currently working on a book about the transformation of the arts and arts careers in the new economy.

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2017-2018 Lecturers

Daniel DiSalvo: "Has Party Reform Made America Ungovernable?”

Daniel DiSalvo is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Colin Powell School at the City College of New York–CUNY and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His scholarship focuses on American political parties, elections, labor unions, state government, and public policy. He is the author of Engines of Change: Party Factions in American Politics, 1868–2010 (Oxford, 2012) and Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences (Oxford, 2015). DiSalvo writes frequently for scholarly and popular publications, including National Affairs, City Journal, American Interest, The Weekly Standard, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, and New York Post. He is coeditor of The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics (DeGruyter). He received his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Virginia.

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Arthur C. Brooks: “Bringing America Together"

Arthur C. Brooks has served as President of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) since January 1, 2009, where he is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise. He is also a contributing writer to The New York Times. Brooks will step down from his position at AEI in June 2019 and take up a Professorship in Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in the practice of public leadership as well as a Senior Fellowship in the Harvard Business School. Before joining AEI, Brooks taught economics and social entrepreneurship at Syracuse University. He is the bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. His latest book is The New York Times bestseller The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America (Broadside Books, 2015). His next book, Love Your Enemies, will come out from Harper-Collins in 2019. Brooks has a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He also holds an M.A. in economics from Florida Atlantic University and a B.A. in economics from Thomas Edison State College. Prior to his academic career, Brooks was a professional French horn player.

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Mark Edmundson: “In Defense of Ideals”

Mark Edmundson is University Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous books, including Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals (Harvard, 2015), Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game (Penguin, 214), Why Write?, Why Teach?, and Why Read?(Bloomsbury, 2004, 2013, 2016), The New York Times notable book of the year, Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference (Random House, 2002), and Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida (Cambridge, 1995). His writing has appeared in such publications as The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Nation, The American Scholar, Harper’s Magazine, and Raritan, where he is also a contributing editor. Edmundson was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2005-2006 and a NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor from 2004-2007. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale and a B.A. from Bennington College.

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Mary Nichols: “Friendship in Aristotle's Ethics”

Mary P. Nichols is Professor of Political Science at Baylor University. She is author of numerous books, including Thucydides and the Pursuit of Freedom(Cornell University Press, 2015), and Socrates on Friendship and Community: Reflections on Plato’s Symposium, Phaedrus, and Lysis (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Reconstructing Woody: Art, Love, and Life in the Films of Woody Allen (Rowman and Littlefield, 1992). Nichols has published articles in TheAmerican Political Science Review, The Review of Politics, and Perspectives on Political Science, and serves on the editorial boards of these journals. She is a senior fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute and has taught at Fordham University, the University of Delaware, and St. John’s College Annapolis. Nichols received her M.A. from Kansas University and her B.A. from Tulane University.

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David Bromwich: “Power, Passion, and Mark Antony”

David Bromwich is the Sterling Professor of English at Yale University.  He is the author of numerous books, including Moral Imagination: Essays (Princeton, 2014), The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence (Belknap, Harvard, 2014), Skeptical Music: Essays on Modern Poetry (Chicago, 2001), and  Disowned by Memory: Wordsworth’s Poetry of the 1790s (Chicago, 2000).  He has written essays on William Shakespeare, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Orson Welles and others, as well as book reviews in the Times Literary Supplement, The London Review of Books, The New Republic, and the New York Review of Books.   He is also a frequent writer on political topics at theHuffington Post.  Bromwich previously taught at Princeton, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences.  He holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. from Yale.

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