The Spirit of Modern Republicanism:
The Moral Visions of the American Founders and the Philosophy of Locke
University of Chicago Press, 1988
Based on The Exxon Distinguished Lectures in Humane Approaches to the Social Sciences, University of Chicago.
Breathtaking in its daring and novelty.... Pangle's book is a tense and tenacious, a stunning meditation on America's political culture.
-John Patrick Diggins, Transactions of the C. S. Pierce Society
What distinguishes Pangle's book from the dozens of books which have challenged or elaborated upon the republican revision is the sharpness with which he exposes the errors of the revisionists while at the same time leaving something of substantive value for the reader to consider.
-Joyce Appleby, Canadian Journal of History
This exciting and original book challenges the various interpretations of the American founding offered by Arendt, Pocock and the 'classical republican' school, Marxists, and other scholars, and offers an alternative account emphasizing the distinctly modern republicanism which informed the creation of the US Constitution. Ranging over the entire history of western political philosophy, Pangle's scholarly analysis reveals the fundamental difference between ancient and modern republican thought.
If you have ever read Locke and thought him something of a bore, Mr. Pangle will show you why he was not and also why Locke's massive success depended upon his deliberately making himself seem less exciting than he was. Mr. Pangle, by showing you how Locke was a master of the indirect approach in warfare of the spirit, will help you to begin to understand the systematic and comprehensive account of humanity as rational individuality which Locke intended as an alternative to both classical rationalism and traditional revealed religion. You may accept Locke's teaching as a kind of bitter medicine, or you may reject it as a poison of the soul. Either way, you will take much less for granted after reading Locke with Mr. Pangle.
An original argument that demands attention from all who are interested in the history of political theory.
-Times Literary Supplement