Leo Strauss and the History of Political Philosophy

Nathan Tarcov and Thomas L. Pangle, "Epilogue: Leo Strauss and the History of Political Philosophy," History of Political Philosophy, Third Edition, ed. Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, University of Chicago Press, 1987.


A student using this book might legitimately and naturally wonder about the approach to the teaching of political philosophy presented here. The originator of this approach was the work’s senior editor, Leo Strauss. Born in Germany in 1899, he studied philosophy, mathematics, and natural science there, and attended courses by Husserl and Heidegger. After working as a researcher at an institute for Jewish studies in Berlin, he left Germany in 1932 and eventually settled in the United States, where he taught at the New School for Social Research from 1938 to 1949, the University of Chicago from 1949 to 1967 , Claremont Men’s College in 1968-69, and St. John’s College until his death in 1973. He was an extraordinarily influential teacher; his many students include most of the contributors to this book. More important, he wrote, fifteen books (the first three in his native German and then a dozen in English) interpreting a wide range of texts and authors and investigating the fundamental problems of political philosophy.

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