Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “History of Political Philosophy” as Want to Read:
History of Political Philosophy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

History of Political Philosophy

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  376 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
This volume provides an unequaled introduction to the thought of chief contributors to the Western tradition of political philosophy from classical Greek antiquity to the twentieth century. Written by specialists on the various philosophers, this third edition has been expanded significantly to include both new and revised essays.
Paperback, 980 pages
Published November 30th 1987 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1963)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I actually read this entire book from cover-to-cover.

For fun.

Because i felt somebody really ought to.

I'm of the opinion that anyone who wishes to truly understand a subject must diligently study not merely the superficial aspects of that subject, but also the subtle and arcane aspects. The tree, as they say, grows mostly below the ground. This view is also, it seems, paramount among the authors of this collection of essays. Covering the history of political philosophy from Thucydides to Hiedegge
This hefty tome has given me a broader perspective of some of the most influential thinkers throughout the ages. Besides showing me gaps in my understanding of political philosophy, and kindling a greater thirst for knowledge, Strauss' History provides an overarching perspective of intellectual history. It traces modern thought to it's roots, and opens up an invaluable conversation with the past. Thanks in part to this book, the present makes more sense.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first essays I read were on Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau and consequently had the opportunity to be amazed at their wonderfully divergent use of the concept of natural man. They all build their political theory from a foundation in this concept, and given their different formulations, it is easy to foresee much of what follows. Hobbes' natural man is one whose every waking moment is pressed into the service of self-preservation and needs to be: everyone else out there realizes that their own ...more
Jun 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: philosophy
neo-conservative presentation, accurately reflected in the title. chapter per writer, beginning in Athens, and ending with Strauss himself as object of inquiry. how humble!
R. Smith
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not for light bedtime reading, but essential reading for those who want to understand the thought leaders through the centuries who have contributed to what we would call the Western tradition of political philosophy. Starts with thought leaders of classical Greek antiquity and progresses through thought leaders of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The reader will have at least a passing familiarity with some of the names, if not the specifics of their thought contributions. But there will be ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for anybody interested in political philosophy. Great to pick up after reading the primary source material of a political philosopher to have an essay to clarify any queries you have and analysis that you may well have missed whilst reading. From Burke to Marx, and even lesser known names (yet nowhere near insignificant), clearly this is the definitive history of political philosophy - though will, of course, require updates! Excellent work.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Not really a book to read or have read, but one to be turned to at need. It's an encyclopedia of political thinkers and their thought, written by eminent friends and students of Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, as well as by Strauss and Cropsey themselves. Its essays are concise and surprisingly clear, for Straussian writing.
Marts  (Thinker)
Aug 10, 2011 marked it as sounds-interesting
Focusing on the contributors to western philosophy, this volume is a highlight in the work of political philosopher Leo Strauss who specialized in classical philosophy and focused his research on the works of Plato and Aristotle...
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is a terrible textbook and supports the idea that there should be no textbooks--just read good books about or by political philosophers. The authors have a very circuitous communication. The authors prove they are intelligent but not smart enough to get to the point.
Derek Lewis
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
A collection of essays, but it is an outstanding synopsis of every major (and some minor) political philosophers. It is as concise as can be, but still in-depth enough for you to learn about and speak knowledgeably of anyone you need to research.
Charles Russo
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy-read
One can posit that there are many philosophers and their many writings, but what this composite did was give me a clear, concise, and succinct look at many of the great philosophers. Excellent book and a must read as a primer to philosophy.
Francisco Gutiérrez
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really useful! I used it in my Introduction to Political Philosophy course at Yale University, and it helped me understand a lot more about the thoughts and lives of the greatest thinkers of our time.
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is essentially an encyclopedia of essays on the political philosophy of most of the big names in the field from Plato through to Heidegger.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Meritoriously very valuable, although written with strictly conservative thesis. Partially anti-Jewish.
Jan 24, 2016 added it
Shelves: revenge
James Violand
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those with sufficient grey matter.
Shelves: own
Marvelous textbook for a course taken in college. Got me hooked on philosophy.
Matt Cyprian
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it
OK, but wordy. Good study guide.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have read the Chinese version several years ago. But the translation makes me a little confused.
I don't know it will take me how long to finish it.
Craig Bolton
History of Political Philosophy by Leo Strauss (1987)
rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2007
Puja Singh
rated it liked it
Dec 09, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2012
Filipe Teles
rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2012
rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2012
Zack Hamingson
rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2015
Rodrigo Bauler
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2017
Garth Reynolds
rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2012
John  Ervin
rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2009
rated it really liked it
May 05, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • From Hegel to Nietzsche: The Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought
  • Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty
  • The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology
  • Love and Friendship
  • Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea
  • The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich
  • Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays
  • Between Past and Future
  • Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida
  • On the Citizen
  • Main Currents in Sociological Thought: Montesquieu, Comte, Marx, deTocqueville, and the Sociologists and the Revolution of 1848
  • Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders, the Golden Age, the Breakdown
  • The New Science of Politics: An Introduction
  • Political Parties
  • The Basic Writings: On Liberty/The Subjection of Women/Utilitarianism
  • The Portable Machiavelli
  • Political Writings (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
Leo Strauss was a German-American philosopher and philologist of ancient Greek text. In his early years studying in Germany he acquainted himself with seminal German thinkers of the 20th century such as Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl and Ernst Cassirer. As a person of Jewish ancestry, Strauss fled to the United States during the rule of Third Reich and taught at the University of Chicago. There, ...more
More about Leo Strauss...

Share This Book

“The Prussian state is, for Hegel, the model most akin to the rational state because it represents, thanks both to the Protestant religion and the authority of the monarchy, a synthesis between the revolutionary exigencies of principles and the traditional exigencies of organization.” 1 likes
“the complacency engendered by the tranquil possession of a God-given truth.” 1 likes
More quotes…