The Best Commentaries on Political Philosophy

A Listmania! list by Michael James
The list author says: "Although most of these books take the form of a commentary on a primary source of political philosophy these books belong in the same rank as the works being commented on."
The Closing of the American Mind
1.  The Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom
The list author says:
  "Probably the single most accessible introduction to political philosophy and critique of the waywardness of contemporary university education."
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3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)

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History of Political Philosophy
2.  History of Political Philosophy by Joseph Cropsey
The list author says:
  "A wonderful introduction to the essential questions of political philosophy and the greatest thinkers of the past answers to those questions.  This volume includes contributions from Leo Strauss and some of his strongest students and colleagues (including Christopher Bruell & David Bolotin)."
$23.28   Used & New from: $9.99
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

The Ironic Defense of Socrates: Plato's Apology
3.  The Ironic Defense of Socrates: Plato's Apology by David M. Leibowitz
The list author says:
  "At its core Leibowitz book says essentially the same thing as Bruell's Socratic Education.  Leibowitz's virtue (or vice) is to make more explicit the genuine questions and the thoughtful solutions to those questions in Plato's presentation of Socrates.  Leibowitz's book is the most lucid, profound, and entertaining piece of serious scholarship on Plato I've ever read."
$76.35
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

On the Socratic Education
4.  On the Socratic Education by Christopher Bruell
The list author says:
  "Of this book David Bolotin had to say, "Bruell's book surpasses everything else that has ever been written on Plato. Of all the commentaries on his dialogues, it is the one that I am most confident Plato himself would have enjoyed reading. And it deserves to find readers for at least as many years into the future as the tradition of Platonic scholarship survives.""
Used & New from: $28.19
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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An Approach to Aristotle's Physics
5.  An Approach to Aristotle's Physics by Aristotle
The list author says:
  "See my book review."
$15.95   Used & New from: $4.54
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

The Idea of Enlightenment: A Post-Mortem Study
6.  The Idea of Enlightenment: A Post-Mortem Study by Robert C. Bartlett
The list author says:
  "It's really a misfortune Bartlett's book is currently out of print, because it's a feast for the reader.  The chapter on Thucydides in particular is perhaps the most useful piece of scholarship on him available."
Used & New from: $28.92

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Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham
7.  Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham by Thomas L. Pangle
The list author says:
  "Pangle's Socratic dialectic (of sorts) with the Book of Genesis and the foremost theologians' interpretations of the first book of the Bible.  Pangle provides a careful analysis of the opinions of morality and justice within Genesis and its most thoughtful, pious commentators."
$23.40   Used & New from: $14.82
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws"
8.  The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws" by Thomas L. Pangle
$30.14   Used & New from: $20.00

The Unity of Plato's 'Gorgias': Rhetoric, Justice, and the Philosophic Life
9.  The Unity of Plato's 'Gorgias': Rhetoric, Justice, and the Philosophic Life by Devin Stauffer
$31.62   Used & New from: $23.66
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Plato's Introduction to the Question of Justice
10.  Plato's Introduction to the Question of Justice by Devin Stauffer
Used & New from: $19.80
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (American Political Thought (University Press of Kansas))
11.  Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (American Political Thought (University Press of Kansas)) by Jerry Weinberger
The list author says:
  "Instructive and very funny take on Benjamin Franklin.  Weinberger's book is an enjoyable read start to finish."
$14.60   Used & New from: $7.30
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)
12.  Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy) by Robert C. Bartlett
The list author says:
  "Includes contributions from David Bolotin, Susan D. Collins, Robert C. Bartlett, and Wayne Ambler."
Used & New from: $17.94

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Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle
13.  Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle by Ross J. Corbett
The list author says:
  "This volume includes essays from Devin Stauffer, Christopher Bruell, Linda R. Rabieh, Heinrich Meier, & Robert C. Bartlett.  Above all, David Leibowitz's essay on Thrasymachus' blush is a must read."
$46.54   Used & New from: $34.50

Enlightening Revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner
14.  Enlightening Revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner by Svetozar Minkov
The list author says:
  "Includes new selections from Bolotin & Bruell"
$35.10   Used & New from: $33.21

Political Philosophy and the Human Soul
15.  Political Philosophy and the Human Soul by Alan Bloom
The list author says:
  "Contains papers by Bolotin and Bruell."
Used & New from: $119.98
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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The Socratic Movement
16.  The Socratic Movement by Paul A. Vander Waerdt
The list author says:
  "Has an extremely helpful article by Thomas Pangle."
Used & New from: $80.00
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship
17.  Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship by Susan D. Collins
$33.24   Used & New from: $15.77

Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship
18.  Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship by Lorraine Smith Pangle
$40.01   Used & New from: $28.17
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Plato and the Virtue of Courage
19.  Plato and the Virtue of Courage by Linda R. Rabieh
$43.20   Used & New from: $25.82
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Science, Faith, and Politics: Francis Bacon and the Utopian Roots of the Modern Age; A Commentary on Bacon's Advancement of Learning
20.  Science, Faith, and Politics: Francis Bacon and the Utopian Roots of the Modern Age; A Commentary on Bacon's Advancement of Learning by Jerry Weinberger
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The Natural Goodness of Man: On the System of Rousseau's Thought
21.  The Natural Goodness of Man: On the System of Rousseau's Thought by Arthur M. Melzer
Used & New from: $69.99
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review) | 1 customer discussion

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Leo Strauss: An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy (The Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought)
22.  Leo Strauss: An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy (The Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought) by Thomas L. Pangle
The list author says:
  "A concise, thorough summary of Leo Strauss' philosophic project.  The three strengths of the book are: 1) it acts as a tremendous introduction to the works of Leo Strauss; 2) Pangle effectively addresses and dismisses the many daft, slanderous misconceptions about Strauss and his legacy; 3) Pangle shows the future of Strauss inspired political studies."
$21.56   Used & New from: $3.81
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

The City and Man
23.  The City and Man by Leo Strauss
$15.38   Used & New from: $5.74
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Natural Right and History (Walgreen Foundation Lectures)
24.  Natural Right and History (Walgreen Foundation Lectures) by Leo Strauss
$15.49   Used & New from: $7.25
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

What is Political Philosophy? And Other Studies
25.  What is Political Philosophy? And Other Studies by Leo Strauss
$17.93   Used & New from: $5.99
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Liberalism Ancient and Modern
26.  Liberalism Ancient and Modern by Leo Strauss
$23.92   Used & New from: $15.19
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss
27.  The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss by Leo Strauss
$21.38   Used & New from: $4.49
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays (Culture of Jewish Modernity)
28.  An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays (Culture of Jewish Modernity) by Leo Strauss
$32.39   Used & New from: $25.53
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Persecution and the Art of Writing
29.  Persecution and the Art of Writing by Leo Strauss
$19.77   Used & New from: $11.90
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Spinoza's Critique of Religion
30.  Spinoza's Critique of Religion by Leo Strauss
$27.75   Used & New from: $23.00
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Socrates and Aristophanes
31.  Socrates and Aristophanes by Leo Strauss
$28.50   Used & New from: $16.49
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

On Tyranny
32.  On Tyranny by Leo Strauss
Used & New from: $28.93
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Leo Strauss On Plato's Symposium
33.  Leo Strauss On Plato's Symposium by Leo Strauss
$23.75   Used & New from: $12.51
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Thoughts on Machiavelli
34.  Thoughts on Machiavelli by Leo Strauss
$25.01   Used & New from: $14.99
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

The Argument and the Action of Plato's Laws
35.  The Argument and the Action of Plato's Laws by Leo Strauss
$28.50   Used & New from: $19.66
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy
36.  Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy by Leo Strauss
$27.61   Used & New from: $12.38
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Xenophon's Socratic Discourse
37.  Xenophon's Socratic Discourse by Leo Strauss
$14.30   Used & New from: $12.42
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Xenophon's Socrates
38.  Xenophon's Socrates by Leo Strauss
$15.30   Used & New from: $12.42
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought (Suny Series, Jewish Writings of Strauss)
39.  Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought (Suny Series, Jewish Writings of Strauss) by Leo Strauss
$28.23   Used & New from: $12.57
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Michael James
Qualifications: Student
Last updated: 12/2/10
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