An American Soul

The late Harry V. Jaffa, who died in 2015 at age 96, is known primarily for three things. First, for his revolutionary work on the statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, exemplified in Jaffa’s two masterworks, Crisis of the House Divided (1959) and A New Birth of Freedom (2000). Second, for penning Barry Goldwater’s famous 1964 convention speech, including its most infamous line: “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” And third, for his ornery, pugilistic written feuds with former friends (e.g., Walter Berns, Martin Diamond, Allan Bloom, and Harvey Mansfield) and eminent conservatives (Mel Bradford, Willmoore Kendall, William Rehnquist, Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, and Edwin Meese, among others).

 

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