Browse our archive of original historical documents on the themes of this book:

- Founding Principles

- Slavery

- Property Rights

- Women and the Right to Vote

- Women and the Family

- Was the Founding Undemocratic? The Property Requirement for Voting

- Poverty and Welfare

- Immigration and the Moral Conditions of Citizenship

- Afterword: Liberals and Conservatives Abandon the Principles of the Founding

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Home > Meet the Author


Vindicating the Founders:
Meet the Author



Tom West holds the Paul Ermine Potter and Dawn Tibbetts Potter Professorship in Politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2011. He spent most of his previous career (1974-2011) at the University of Dallas. He is also a Director and Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute.

West, born in 1945, received his B.A. at Cornell in 1967 and his Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University in 1974. He served in Vietnam as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1969-70. Far from being traumatized by the experience, he greatly enjoyed a year of hospitality and good food with his Vietnamese counterparts at 7th ARVN Division headquarters G-2 in My Tho. He was Bradley Resident Scholar at the Heritage Foundation in 1988-89, and Salvatori Visiting Scholar at Claremont McKenna College from 1990-92.

Books Authored:

Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997. Paperback edition, 2001. (Click here to buy.)

Plato's "Apology of Socrates": An Interpretation, with a New Translation. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1979. (Click here to buy.)

Books Edited:

Modern America and the Legacy of the Founding. Edited by Ronald J. Pestritto and T.G.W. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2006. (Click here to buy.)

Challenges to the American Founding: Slavery, Historicism, and Progressivism in the Nineteenth Century. Edited by Ronald J. Pestritto and T.G.W. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2004. (Click here to buy.)

The American Founding and the Social Compact. Edited by Ronald J. Pestritto and T.G.W. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2003. (Click here to buy.)

Algernon Sidney. Discourses Concerning Government, with an introduction and notes. Edited by T.G.W. Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1990. Revised edition, 1996. (Click here to buy.) (Click here for the entire book online.)

Shakespeare as Political Thinker. Edited by John E. Alvis and T.G.W. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 1981. Revised and expanded edition, Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute Books, 2000. (Click here to buy.) (Click here for the table of contents and foreword.)

Books Translated:

Plato. Charmides. Translated by T.G.W. and Grace Starry West. Introduction by Thomas G. West. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1986. (Click here to buy.)

Plato and Aristophanes. Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, and Aristophanes' Clouds. Translated by T.G.W. and Grace Starry West. Introduction by T.G.W.. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984. Revised ed. 1998. (Over 125,000 copies sold.) (Click here to buy.) (Click here for the table of contents, translator's note, and the beginning of the introduction.)

Selected Articles and Book Chapters:

"The Ground of Locke's Law of Nature." Social Philosophy and Policy 29, no. 2 (Summer 2012).

"The Universal Principles of the American Founding." In Daniel N. Robinson and Richard Williams, ed. The American Founding: Reflections on the Contours of Civic Life. London and New York: Continuum, 2012.

"The Economic Theory of the American Founding." In Joseph Postell and Bradley C. S. Watson, ed. Rediscovering Political Economy. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011. Pp. 159-185. (Click here to buy.)

"The Great Separation: Church and State." (Original title, "The Declaration of Independence, the Great Seal of the United States, and the Separation of Church and State.") The City, Spring 2010, 89-97 (published at http://www.civitate.org).

"The Economic Principles of America's Founders: Property Rights, Free Markets, and Sound Money." First Principles Series Report #32, Heritage Foundation, 2010.

"Remarks on Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: What Tocqueville Teaches Today." First Principles Series Report #28, Heritage Foundation, 2009. Scroll down to "Thomas West." Click here for the video.

"The Progressive Movement and the Transformation of American Politics." First Principles Series Report #12, Heritage Foundation, 2007.

"Progressivism and the Transformation of American Government." In The Progressive Revolution in Politics and Political Science: Transforming the American Regime, ed. John Marini and Ken Masugi. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. Pp 13-33. (Click here to buy.)

"The Transformation of Protestant Theology as a Condition of the American Revolution." In Thomas S. Engeman and Michael P. Zuckert, ed., Protestantism and the American Founding. South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004. (Click here to buy.)

"Freedom of Speech in the American Founding and in Modern Liberalism." Social Philosophy and Policy 21:2 (Summer 2004): 310-384. Also in Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., and Jeffrey Paul, eds., Freedom of Speech. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. (Click here to buy.)

"The Liberal Assault on Freedom of Speech." Imprimis (published by Hillsdale College), January 2004.

"Leo Strauss and American Foreign Policy." Claremont Review of Books, vol. 4 no. 3 (Summer 2004): 13-16.

"Nature and Happiness in Locke." Review essay on Launching Liberalism: On Lockean Political Philosophy, by Michael P. Zuckert. Claremont Review of Books, vol. 4, no. 2 (Spring 2004), 54-57. (The link is to the unabridged version of the essay, which is about 30 percent longer than the published version.)

"The Political Theory of the Declaration of Independence." In The American Founding and the Social Compact. Edited by Ronald J. Pestritto and T.G.W. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2003. Pp. 95-145. (Click here to buy.)

"God and Man in America." Review essay on Separation of Church and State, by Philip Hamburger. Claremont Review of Books, vol. 3, no. 2 (Spring 2003): 28-30.

"Sins of the Fathers." (On Dostoevsky and the Problem of Traditionalism.) Claremont Review of Books, vol. 2, no. 4 (Fall 2002): 28-31.

"The Rise and Decline of Constitutional Government." Co-authored with Douglas A. Jeffrey. Booklet published by Claremont Institute, 2002. Reprinted 2004.

"The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights." In The Declaration of Independence: Origins and Impact. Ed. Scott Douglas Gerber. Washington: CQ Press, 2002. Pp. 72-95. (Click here to buy.)

"Jaffa versus Mansfield: Does America Have a Constitutional or a 'Declaration of Independence' Soul?" Perspectives on Political Science, 31 (Fall 2002), 235-46.

"The Constitutionalism of the Founders versus Modern Liberalism." Nexus: A Journal of Opinion, 6 (Spring 2001): 75-99.

"Vindicating John Locke: How a Seventeenth-Century 'Liberal' Was Really a 'Social Conservative,'" Witherspoon Lecture, Family Research Council, Washington, DC, February 23, 2001.

"Jaffa's Lincolnian Defense of the Founding." Interpretation 28 (Spring 2001): 279-96.

"Religious Liberty: The View from the Founding." In On Faith and Free Government, ed. Daniel Palm. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997. Pp. 3-27.

"Allan Bloom and America." Claremont Review of Books, 6 (Spring 1988), pp. 1, 17-20.

"Defending Socrates and Defending Politics." In Natural Right and Political Right: Essays in Honor of Harry V. Jaffa, ed. Thomas B. Silver and Peter W. Schramm. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 1984. Also in Interpretation 11/3 (September 1983), 383-97.

"Marx and Lenin." Interpretation 11/1 (January 1983), 73-85. Reprinted as Occasional Paper Number 8 of The Claremont Institute, August 1983.

"Cicero's Teaching on Natural Law." The St. John's Review 32 (Summer 1981), 74-81.

"The Two Truths of Troilus and Cressida." In Shakespeare as Political Thinker, ed. John E. Alvis and T.G.W. Orig. pub. 1981; revised and expanded edition, Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute Books, 2000, 143-162.





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