Paul Gottfried has a New Book Coming Out on Leo Strauss

This is news to me. Gottfried is ridiculously prolific. Unfortunately, the book, due out 31 Jan 2012, is not priced for routine retail sale. Here is the book description.

This book offers an original interpretation of the achievement of Leo Strauss, stressing how his ideas and followers reshaped the American conservative movement. According to this study, Strauss and his disciples came to influence the establishment Right almost by accident. The conservative movement that reached out to Strauss and his legacy was extremely fluid and lacked a self-confident leadership. Conservative activists and journalists felt a desperate need for academic acceptability, which they thought Strauss and his disciples would furnish. They also became deeply concerned with the problem of “value relativism,” which self-described conservatives thought Strauss had effectively addressed. But until recently, neither Strauss nor his disciples have considered themselves to be “conservatives.” Strauss’s followers continue to view themselves as stalwart Truman-Kennedy Democrats and liberal internationalists. Contrary to another misconception, Straussians have never wished to convert Americans to ancient political ideals and practices, except in a very selective rhetorical fashion. Strauss and his disciples have been avid champions of American modernity, and “timeless” values as interpreted by Strauss and his followers often look starkly contemporary.
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3 thoughts on “Paul Gottfried has a New Book Coming Out on Leo Strauss

  1. mpresley

    Evidently the price is typical of the academic book mart mafia. Too bad, really, since at its bargain price it will simply wind up in university libraries, and then the shelves of poly sci professors, but that’s about it.

    One thing that will be interesting to find out: how Gottfried separates Strauss from the Straussians. I find that many who comment on the neocons, at least casually, have probably never read Strauss at all, or if they have it’s just “here and there.” Those who have, and who are looking for the “smoking neocon gun” will probably be disappointed.

    Mr. Gottfried has, by his own admission, suffered abuse at the hands of the Strauss-IANS, but I suspect that if he is able to keep the two differentiated (and why should he not?) he will be fair to Leo Strauss as an academic.

  2. paul gottfried

    Yes I do differentiate Strauss as a genuine Old World scholar from his students; and I further differentiate those who simply apply Straussian hermeneutics from those who are driven by Straussianism as a political agenda. Although I agree that the book is infuriatingly expensive, I have no control over the pricing. PG

  3. Soma

    Easily the best book on the subject, and well worth the price for anyone remotely interested in the subject (and many should be who are not). Many thanks to Professor Gottfried for a fine work.

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