Front Matter

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

It has been over twenty-five years since I read my first book by Leo Strauss. At the time, I was enrolled in a graduate seminar course in the Social and Political Thought Program at York University in 1987, which focused on the complex relation between the Bible and philosophy. One of the course texts was Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise. Brayton Polka, the ...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-12

It has been forty years since the death of Leo Strauss, yet there is little evidence that the debate over his legacy shows any sign of abatement. A prolific scholar who managed to inspire a whole new approach to political philosophy when he taught in the United States from the late 1930s until his death in 1973, he is in retrospect perhaps an unlikely choice for ...

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1 - Saving Anglo-Americans from Themselves

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pp. 13-32

“In defending modern civilisation against German nihilism, the English are defending the eternal principles of civilisation.”1 Leo Strauss delivered these stirring words in a lecture at the New School for Social Research in February 1941, when it was far from obvious that Britain, standing alone against Hitler, would win (or even survive) this deadly struggle. Yet the ...

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2 - Athens in Anglo-America

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pp. 33-64

It is well known that Leo Strauss portrayed himself as a political philosopher who sought the “recovery” of classical political philosophy. This recovery was essential in order to shore up the legitimacy of liberal democracy, which, although triumphant over fascism in World War II, was still threatened by communism in the Cold War. The urgency of this recovery, ...

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3 - Leo Strauss,from Left to Right

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pp. 65-97

During a conference dedicated to the ideas of Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt in 1991, Harvey Mansfield praised Arendt for persuading the Left to abandon its traditional animosity toward the American Revolution. Mansfield, a distinguished Straussian political scientist at Harvard University, remarked that “it is because of her that the Left in America no longer ...

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4 - Churchill, the Anglo-American Greek?

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pp. 98-121

In his lecture “What Can We Learn from Political Theory?” which he delivered at the New School for Social Research in 1942, Strauss praised Winston Churchill for defending Western civilization in accord with the timeless teachings of political philosophy. These teachings were not, Strauss made clear, based on biblical morality; they were in fact the ideas of Greek ...

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5 - The Anglo-AmericanStruggle with Strauss

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pp. 122-152

The impact of Leo Strauss’s ideas has been mainly although not exclusively felt in the Anglo-American world. In order to understand the various reasons behind this phenomenon, it is instructive to examine political philosophers who were influenced by his ideas. The Canadian conservative George Grant (1918–1988) and the American conservative Willmoore ...

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6 - Leo Strauss and theUniqueness of the West

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pp. 153-168

In the introduction to The City and Man, Strauss explains why the recovery of political philosophy in the context of the Cold War is so important. The “crisis of the West,” which is ultimately a battle of ideas, cannot be addressed by the authority of religion alone. “It is not sufficient for everyone to obey and to listen to the Divine Message of the City of Righteousness, ...

Notes

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pp. 169-217

Bibliography

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pp. 219-238

Index

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pp. 239-245