An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006
Leo Strauss's controversial writings have long exercised a profound subterranean cultural influence. Now their impact is emerging more and more into broad daylight. In reaction, there has been a flurry of poorly informed, often wildly speculative, and sometimes rather paranoid pronouncements about the subversive or dangerous things that Strauss or those influenced by him are supposed to think and to teach.
This book, written in response and as a corrective, is the first accurate, non-polemical, brief, and yet comprehensive guide to Strauss's mature political philosophy and its intellectual influence. It does not presuppose any familiarity with Strauss's writings, but opens a pathway into Strauss's major works, approached in the light of the question: how does Strauss's philosophic thinking contribute to our democracy's civic renewal, and to our culture's deepening of critical self-understanding?
A leading and distinctive feature of this book is its synoptic critical survey of writings by numerous scholars who have extended Strauss's influence into the more practical, sub-philosophic fields of social and political science and commentary. The book shows how these analysts have in effect implemented a "new" kind of political and social science that, inspired by Strauss, has taken his impulse into large areas in which Strauss himself did not directly venture.