Truth about Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy

Truth about Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy

3.5 2
by Catherine H. Zuckert, Michael P. Zuckert
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226993329

ISBN-13: 9780226993324

Pub. Date: 09/15/2006

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Is Leo Strauss truly an intellectual forebear of neoconservatism and a powerful force in shaping Bush administration foreign policy? The Truth about Leo Strauss puts this question to rest, revealing for the first time how the popular media came to perpetuate an oversimplified view of a complex and wide-ranging philosopher. In doing so, it corrects our perception of

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Overview

Is Leo Strauss truly an intellectual forebear of neoconservatism and a powerful force in shaping Bush administration foreign policy? The Truth about Leo Strauss puts this question to rest, revealing for the first time how the popular media came to perpetuate an oversimplified view of a complex and wide-ranging philosopher. In doing so, it corrects our perception of Strauss, providing the best general introduction available to the political thought of this misunderstood figure.

Catherine and Michael Zuckert-both former students of Strauss-guide readers here to a nuanced understanding of how Strauss's political thought fits into his broader philosophy. Challenging the idea that Strauss was an inflexible conservative who followed in the footsteps of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt, the Zuckerts contend that Strauss's signature idea was the need for a return to the ancients. Through their work, they conclude that Strauss was a sober defender of liberal democracy, aware of both its strengths and its weaknesses.

Balanced and accessible, The Truth about Leo Strauss is a must-read for anyone who wants to more fully comprehend this enigmatic philosopher and his much-disputed legacy.

About the Author:
Catherine and Michael Zuckert are both Nancy R. Dreux Professors of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Catherine is the author of two books, including Postmodern Platos, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Michael is the author of three books, including Natural Rights and the New Republicanism

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226993324
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
09/15/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: Mr. Strauss Goes to Washington? 1

Part I Strauss

Chapter 1 The Return to the Ancients: An Overview of the Straussian Project 27

Strauss's Philosophical Project 30

Strauss's Departure from Heidegger and Nietzsche 32

Strauss's Analysis of the Contemporary Crisis 35

Strauss's Way Back to Ancient Political Philosophy 36

Strauss's Rereading of the History of Philosophy 46

Political Philosophy and Politics 49

Chapter 2 Strauss-Modernity-America 58

Proposition 1: America is Modern 58

Proposition 2: Modernity is Bad 64

Proposition 3: America is Good 74

Straussian Ambiguities 79

Chapter 3 Leo Strauss as a Postmodern Political Thinker 80

The Problem of the Postmodern 81

Strauss's Postmodernism: After Nietzsche 83

Strauss's Postmodernism: After Heidegger 91

Derridean Postmodernism 102

Contrasting the two forms of Postmodernism 111

Chapter 4 The Man Who Gave Away the Secrets: On Esotericism 115

How Shadia Drury Read Leo Strauss 116

On Esotericism and Noble Lies 120

Looking for Secrets in All the Wrong Places 136

Chapter 5 Leo Strauss-Teacher of Evil? 155

Strauss and the "Tyrannical Teaching" 158

The Thrasymachean Thesis 166

The Machiavellian Moment 177

Strauss and Schmitt 184

Part II Straussians

Chapter 6 The Emergence of the Straussian Study of America 197

Water Berns: The Virtuous Republic 202

Martin Diamond: Finding the Founding 209

Harry Jaffa: Aristotelianizing America 217

Chapter 7 Straussian Geography 228

East Coast 231

West Coast 239

Midwest 252

Conclusion 261

Notes 269

Index 301

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Truth about Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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