Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
About Martin Diamond
Martin Diamond was born in New York City in 1919 and died in Washington, D.C., in 1977.
Before World War II, Martin Diamond attended college only briefly and did not complete undergraduate studies. Nevertheless, after wartime service, he was admitted on the basis of his self-education in 1950 as a graduate student in the department of political science, University of Chicago, earning the A.M. in 1952 and Ph.D. in 1956.
He held teaching positions at the University of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Claremont Men’s College and Claremont Graduate School, and Northern Illinois University. He would have assumed the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Chair on the Foundations of American Freedom, Georgetown University, on August 1, 1977, and would have served concurrently as adjunct scholar of the American Enterprise Institute.
He was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1960–1961; the Rockefeller Foundation, 1963–1964; the Relm Foundation, 1966–1967; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1974–1975; and the National Humanities Institute in New Haven, Connecticut, 1975–1976.
Martin Diamond was also called on for advice by state and local officials, by United States senators and congressmen, and by the president and the vice-president of the United States. He spent the last morning of his life testifying before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
As Far As Republican Principles Will Admit
When Martin Diamond decided the time had come to collect his essays of some twenty years into a single volume, he selected as its title, As Far as Republican Principles Will Admit. That selection was the only piece of guidance he left for those whose task it became to finish the project after his sudden and tragic death in 1977. But, as Diamond would have insisted, it was guidance enough. He composed titles for his essays with the utmost care and deliberation well before he began writing them, because an essay’s title was, for him, its end or purpose—its reason for being written. And just as the end or purpose of a political institution, when fully elaborated, explains every facet of its behavior, so the title of a piece, he insisted, should suggest or imply its entire argument.
The essays in this volume, then, have been selected and arranged to elucidate the author’s carefully and deliberately chosen title. As Diamond foresaw, once we have explored the title’s meaning we do indeed have a glimpse of his full argument about the nature of the American political order.
Part One: Foundations: The Democratic Republic
Part Two: Decentralist Federalism and Republican Virtue
Part Three: The Horizon of Republican Liberty and the Natural Aristocracy
Part 4: “Enclaves of Excellence” and the Study of Politics
Part Five: Summary and Conclusion