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Leo Strauss

, 200 pages
July 2006



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Leo Strauss

An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy

Leo Strauss's controversial writings have long exercised a profound subterranean cultural influence. Now their impact is emerging into broad daylight, where they have been met with a flurry of poorly informed, often wildly speculative, and sometimes rather paranoid pronouncements.

This book, written as a corrective, is the first accurate, non-polemical, comprehensive guide to Strauss's mature political philosophy and its intellectual influence. Thomas L. Pangle opens a pathway into Strauss's major works with one question: How does Strauss's philosophic thinking contribute to our democracy's civic renewal and to our culture's deepening, critical self-understanding?

This book includes a synoptic critical survey of writings from scholars who have extended Strauss's influence into the more practical, sub-philosophic fields of social and political science and commentary. Pangle shows how these analysts have in effect imported Straussian impulses into a "new" kind of political and social science.

Thomas L. Pangle holds the Joe R. Long Chair in Democratic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His many acclaimed publications include The Ennobling of Democracy: The Challenge of the Postmodern Age and Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham, both published by Johns Hopkins. He has also published a number of translations of Platonic dialogues, including The Laws of Plato and The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues.

"It is both welcome and timely that a scholar of the stature of Thomas Pangle should address this subject and treat the topic in a detached and philosophical spirit. Not only is he one of the most accomplished political theorists in the world today, but he is also a leading student of the thought of Leo Strauss. The book, first and foremost an introduction to the political philosophy of Leo Strauss focusing on larger themes and questions, is readable and accessible to a general, higher-level intellectual audience."

"Pangle... brings to his task the remarkable erudition, and his volume may be said to have succeeded in restoring, and perhaps even deepening, the more sober view of Strauss's intention that prevailed in his lifetime and for a decade or so after death."

"Pangle's bibliography at the end alone is worth the price of the book."

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