On Tyranny is Leo Strauss's classic reading of Xenophon's dialogue, Hiero or Tyrannicus, in which the tyrant Hiero and the poet Simonides discuss the advantages and disadvantages of exercising tyranny. This edition includes a translation of the dialogue, a critique of the commentary by the French philosopher Alexandre Kojève, Strauss's restatement of his position in light of Kojève's comments, and finally, the complete Strauss-Kojève correspondence.
"Through [Strauss's] interpretation Xenophon appears to us as no longer the somewhat dull and flat author we know, but as a brilliant and subtle writer, an original and profound thinker. What is more, in interpreting this forgotten dialogue, Strauss lays bare great moral and political problems that are still ours." —Alexandre Kojève, Critique
"On Tyranny is a complex and stimulating book with its 'parallel dialogue' made all the more striking since both participants take such unusual, highly provocative positions, and so force readers to face substantial problems in what are often wholly unfamiliar, even shocking ways." —Robert Pippin, History and Theory
"Every political scientist who tries to disentangle himself from the contemporary confusion over the problems of tyranny will be much indebted to this study and inevitably use it as a starting point."—Eric Voegelin, The Review of Politics
Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
About the Author
Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His many contributions to political philosophy include The Political Philosophy of Hobbes and Liberalism Ancient and Modern, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
I. On Tyranny
Xenophon: Hiero or Tyrannicus
Leo Strauss: On Tyranny
Notes on On Tyranny
II. The Strauss-Kojève Debate
Alexandre Kojève: Tyranny and Wisdom
Leo Strauss: Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero
III. The Strauss-Kojève Correspondence
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