Books & Monographs

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First Things: An Inquiry Into the First Principles of Morals and Justice, by Hadley Arkes
Beyond the Constitution, by Hadley Arkes

Hadley Arkes argues that it is necessary to move "beyond the Constitution," to the principles that stood antecedent to the text, if we are to understand the text and apply the Constitution to the cases that arise every day in our law.

The Return of George Sutherland: Restoring a Jurisprudence of Natural Rights, by Hadley Arkes

In this book, Hadley Arkes seeks to restore, for a new generation, the jurisprudence of the late Justice of the Supreme Court George Sutherland--a jurisprudence anchored in the understanding of natural rights. The doctrine of natural rights has become controversial in our own time, while Sutherland has been widely maligned and screened from our historical memory. He is remembered today as one of the "four horsemen" who resisted Roosevelt and the New Deal; but we have forgotten his leadership in the cause of voting rights for women. Both liberal and conservative jurists now deride Sutherland, yet both groups continue to draw upon his writings. Liberals look to Sutherland for a jurisprudence that protects "privacy" against the rule of majorities, as in matters concerning abortion or gay rights. Conservatives will appeal to his defense of freedom in the economy.

However, both liberals and conservatives deny the premises of natural rights that provided the ground, and coherence, of Sutherland's teaching. Arkes contends that Sutherland can supply what is missing in both conservative and liberal jurisprudence. He argues that if a new generation can look again, with unclouded eyes, at the writings of Sutherland, both liberals and conservatives can be led back to the moral ground of their jurisprudence. This compelling intellectual biography introduces readers to an urbane man, and a steely judge, who has been made a stranger to them.

Natural Rights and the Right to Choose, by HadleyArkes

Over the last thirty years the American political class has come to talk itself out of the doctrines of 'natural rights' that formed the main teaching of the American Founders and Abraham Lincoln. With that move, it has removed the ground for its own rights. Ironically, this transition has been made without awareness, with a serene conviction that constitutional rights are being expanded. In the name of 'privacy' and 'autonomy', new claims of liberty have been unfolded, all of them bound up in some way with the notion of sexual freedom. The 'right to choose an abortion' has been the 'right' to shift the political class from doctrines of natural right. This new right overturned the liberal jurisprudence of the New Deal, placing jurisprudence on a different foundation. If there is a right to abortion, it has been detached from the logic of natural rights and stripped of moral substance.

Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths: The Touchstoneof the Natural Law, by Hadley Arkes

This book stands against the current of judgments long settled in the schools of law in regard to classic cases such as Lochner v. New York, Near v. Minnesota, the Pentagon Papers case, and Bob Jones University v. United States. Professor Hadley Arkes takes as his subject concepts long regarded as familiar, settled principles in our law—'prior restraints', ex post facto laws—and he shows that there is actually a mystery about them, that their meaning is not as settled or clear as we have long supposed. Arkes shows this in his text, arguing that the logic of the natural law provides the key to this chain of legal puzzles.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Ten Years of the Claremont Review of Books, by Charles R. Kesler and John B. Kienker

Over the past ten years, the Claremont Review of Books has become one of the preeminent conservative magazines in the United States. With essays by the likes of Charles Kesler, Harry V. Jaffa, William F. Buckley, Jr., Hadley Arkes, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Brookheiser, James Q. Wilson, Allen C. Guelzo, Victor Davis Hansen, Ross Douthat, and many others, this collection surveys the range of issues addressed in the Review's first decade, from critiques of American progressivism and conservatism, to foreign policy, politics, history, and culture. Liberally illustrated with art director Elliot Banfield's popular cartoons, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness contains some of the best content from The Claremont Institute's flagship publication.

A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Comingof the Civil War, by Harry V. Jaffa

A New Birth of Freedom is the culmination of over a half a century of study and reflection by one of America's foremost scholars of American politics, Harry V. Jaffa. This long-awaited sequel to Crisis of the House Divided, first published in 1959, continues Jaffa's piercing examination of the political thought of Abraham Lincoln and the themes of self-government, equality, and statesmanship. Whereas Crisis of the House Divided focused on the famous senate campaign debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, this volume expands and deepens Jaffa's analysis of American political thought, and gives special attention to Lincoln's refutation of the arguments of John C. Calhoun—the intellectual champion of the Confederacy. According to Jaffa, the Civil War is the characteristic event in American history—not because it represents a statistical frequency, but rather because through the conflict of that war we are able to understand what is fundamentally at stake in the American experiment in self-government.

Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution: A Disputed Question, by Harry V. Jaffa

In a lead essay and subsequent exchanges with fellow contributors Bruce Ledewitz, Robert Stone, and George Anastaplo, Harry Jaffa investigates the true "original intent" of the framers, maintaining that a rejection of the higher or natural law principles of the Constitution puts modern liberalism and conservatism on "common ground."

The Federalist Papers, Introduction and Notes by Charles R. Kesler, and edited by Clinton Rossiter

This is the classic exposition of the meaning of the American constitution written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison as "Publius." This edition, based on the edits of Clinton Rossiter, contains textual notes, a selected bibliography, and a superb introductory essay by Charles C. Kesler.

 
The Rise and Fall of Constitutional Government in America, by Thomas G. West and Douglas A. Jeffrey

In this updated 2011 edition, Claremont Institute Senior Fellows Thomas G. West and Douglas A. Jeffrey describe the original establishment and then the sustained erosion of constitutional government in the United States over the course of the last century.