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Leo Strauss's Defense of the Philosophic Life: Reading "What Is Political Philosophy?" Hardcover – Jan 4 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (Jan. 4 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226924203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226924205
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 458 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,798,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“A searching examination of Leo Strauss’s defense of political philosophy and a fine, sure to be controversial, collection of essays by old hands and new.”

(Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University)

What is Political Philosophy? is Strauss’s most comprehensive, and arguably most introductory, work. But the fact that each chapter focuses on key themes more fully elaborated elsewhere creates the need for a systematic supplementary text. With this collection of essays, the reader is afforded helpful guidance to the way each of the chapters relates to, illuminates, and is illuminated by other major treatments of the same themes by Strauss. The book will attract a broad readership among the many who are involved in or attentive to the ongoing debate over Strauss's controversial thought.”
(Thomas L. Pangle, University of Texas at Austin)

“Lively interest in the work and legacy of Strauss continues as does controversy over what he did—and did not—argue for. This collection of essays demonstrates an expository thoroughness that will be of great interest to those who read them alongside the Strauss essays themselves. One doubts this will clear away the controversy, but one can hope that it will promote a more serious, engaged, and sympathetic debate.”

(Timothy Fuller, Colorado College)

“With Leo Strauss’s Defense of the Philosophic Life, Rafael Major has produced an outstanding volume distinctive among the many books treating Strauss’s thought for its attempts to read Strauss as closely as Strauss reads other philosophers. The essays accomplish expertly this task with one of the most interesting and revealing of Strauss’s books, What is Political Philosophy?, covering the entire range of Strauss’s interpretations from Xenophon to the twentieth century.”

(Richard Velkley, Tulane University)

“Rafael Major has put together a fitting tribute to the thought of Leo Strauss. Leo Strauss’s Defense of the Philosophic Life brings together excellent essays by major scholars on each of the chapters of Strauss’s book. Of the recent works on Strauss, this is among the best. . . . An essential element in any collection of works in politics and philosophy.”
(Choice 2013-07-19)

About the Author

Rafael Major is the director of faculty development at the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History and teaches at Ursinus College.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9da0dbb8) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa130fa98) out of 5 stars Worth it! Dec 18 2014
By Evan - Published on
Format: Paperback
_What is Political Philosophy?_ seems, at first, to be one of Strauss' most easily accessible books. It's just answering a simple question, right? What is *x*? Yet, as many familiar with the Socratic Question have come to realize "What is...?" is often far from a simple question. In addition to his own superb introduction to this volume, Rafael Major has collected an excellent cast of commentators who skillfully help illuminate -- and at times go beyond -- Strauss' book. Each chapter helps open up not only Strauss' writing, but the questions about which Strauss wrote. For any person interested in the questions of political philosophy -- either new or long-time advocates -- this book is a must-read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e130fcc) out of 5 stars As a long time reader and re-reader of "What Is ... Dec 18 2014
By Seth A Bracken - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a long time reader and re-reader of "What Is Political Philosophy," I found this expertly curated collection of essays to be very helpful in illuminating the dark corners of Strauss' work.