Review essay: Mr. Smith does not go to Washington

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (3):366-386 (2007)
Abstract
A recent spate of books on the life and legacy of the political philosopher Leo Strauss, notably Steven B. Smith's Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, and Judaism , suggests a desperate effort to salvage Strauss and the Straussian school of political philosophy from the wreckage of American neoconservatism. Although a number of these works are quite thoughtful and helpfully counter many of the more extreme (and uglier) charges made concerning the meaning of Straussianism and its political influence, their general drift in fact confirms what the more responsible critics of this school have long maintained about its tendency to oppose positions that would help advance meaningful social change and social justice. Key Words: Leo Strauss • Straussianism • Platonism • esoteric writing • zeteti-cism • Socratic • skepticism • relativism • fideism.
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