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Wilfred McClay

Wilfred McClay
Wilfred M. McClay holds the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma. His book, The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America, won the 1995 Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians. McClay received his BA from St. John’s College in Annapolis and his doctoral degree in history from Johns Hopkins University.

If we can begin to understand the sense of federalism as an idea rather than a fixed set of immutable relations, and moreover as an idea that is designed to balance and reconcile the competing claims of competing goods, then our debates over the promise of federalism may take on...
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There can be no question of the signal importance and influence of The Closing of the American Mind. Any future historian who proposes to explain the “culture wars” of the 1980s and...
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If we are to make any kind of case for the liberal arts, we must first have a reasonably coherent notion of what the liberal arts are, and what they are for. That means clearing away some...

The communitarian movement has arisen as an effort to address the evident and growing deficiencies of modern liberalism, which seems unable to think beyond the sovereign autonomy of rights-bearing individuals. But communitarianism has considerable deficiencies of its own....
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I am delighted to be with you this afternoon and to have a role in the Heritage Foundation's worthy project of commemorating Russell Kirk's many contributions to American intellectual life. My own task today is to explore...
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When I bring up the subject of “place” to fellow scholars and administrators, I often encounter blank stares and gentle skepticism. Why, I’m asked, would people want to talk about...place? Why would anyone want to write, or read,...

The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson by William Murchison Few habits of speech and thought inhibit our appreciation of those who created the United States of America more than our tendency to...
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The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia by Roger Kimball. For those who cherish the life of the mind, one of the...

The concept of federalism has been one of the principal casualties of modern American history. One has to look far and wide to find American historians and political scientists who do not believe, with the smugness and tenacity of dogma, that our federal institutions are lumbering relics...