"...the true accomplishment of this book is to reveal the connection between democracy and philosophy through their common dependence on parrhêsia. Each relies on frankness in speech and a willingness on the part of the speaker to expose his or her self to the criticism and, at its best, the instruction of others. However, democratic polities must rely on more than parrhêsia to preserve themselves: They also rely on its opposite, on shame....we learn that the philosophic pretenses of democracy will and can never be met."
Geoffey M. Vaughan, University of Maryland - Baltimore, Perspectives on Politics
"Although such contemporary debates animate her book, Saxonhouse is also attuned to the difficulties of using ancient Athenian institutions as models for modern political theory. The result is an extraordinarily rich and thoughtful book that is both theoretically sophisticated and historically nuanced; it is a model of how historical scholarship can illuminate contemporary political theory."
Thornton C. Lockwood Jr., Fordham University, Political Theory
"This superb new book by Arlene Saxonhouse deserves a wide audience...this volume contains an exceptionally thoughtful, meticulously erudite, and provocatively wise meditation on the significance of the concept and practice of parrhêsia in the democracy of ancient Athens..."
Leslie Friedman Goldstein, The Review of Politics