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The Best Commentaries on Political Philosophy

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
The Closing of the American Mind
"Probably the single most accessible introduction to political philosophy and critique of the waywardness of contemporary university education."
History of Political Philosophy
History of Political Philosophy
"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)."
The Ironic Defense of Socrates: Plato's Apology
The Ironic Defense of Socrates: Plato's Apology
"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."
On the Socratic Education
On the Socratic Education
"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.""
An Approach to Aristotle's Physics
An Approach to Aristotle's Physics
"See my book review."
The Idea of Enlightenment: A Post-Mortem Study
The Idea of Enlightenment: A Post-Mortem Study
"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."
Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham
Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham
"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."
The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws"
The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws"
The Unity of Plato's 'Gorgias': Rhetoric, Justice, and the Philosophic Life
The Unity of Plato's 'Gorgias': Rhetoric, Justice, and the Philosophic Life
Plato's Introduction to the Question of Justice
Plato's Introduction to the Question of Justice
Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (American Political Thought (University Press of Kansas))
Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (American Political Thought (University Press of Kansas))
"Instructive and very funny take on Benjamin Franklin.  Weinberger's book is an enjoyable read start to finish."
Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)
Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)
"Includes contributions from David Bolotin, Susan D. Collins, Robert C. Bartlett, and Wayne Ambler."
Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle
Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle
"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."
Enlightening Revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner
Enlightening Revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner
"Includes new selections from Bolotin & Bruell"
Political Philosophy and the Human Soul
Political Philosophy and the Human Soul
"Contains papers by Bolotin and Bruell."
The Socratic Movement
The Socratic Movement
"Has an extremely helpful article by Thomas Pangle."
Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship
Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship
Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship
Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship
Plato and the Virtue of Courage
Plato and the Virtue of Courage
Science, Faith, and Politics: Francis Bacon and the Utopian Roots of the Modern Age; A Commentary on Bacon's Advancement of Learning
Science, Faith, and Politics: Francis Bacon and the Utopian Roots of the Modern Age; A Commentary on Bacon's Advancement of Learning
The Natural Goodness of Man: On the System of Rousseau's Thought
The Natural Goodness of Man: On the System of Rousseau's Thought
Leo Strauss: An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy (The Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought)
Leo Strauss: An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy (The Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought)
"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."
The City and Man
The City and Man
Natural Right and History (Walgreen Foundation Lectures)
Natural Right and History (Walgreen Foundation Lectures)
What is Political Philosophy? And Other Studies
What is Political Philosophy? And Other Studies
Liberalism Ancient and Modern
Liberalism Ancient and Modern
The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss
The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss
An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays (Culture of Jewish Modernity)
An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays (Culture of Jewish Modernity)
Persecution and the Art of Writing
Persecution and the Art of Writing
Spinoza's Critique of Religion
Spinoza's Critique of Religion
Socrates and Aristophanes
Socrates and Aristophanes
On Tyranny
On Tyranny
Leo Strauss On Plato's Symposium
Leo Strauss On Plato's Symposium
Thoughts on Machiavelli
Thoughts on Machiavelli
The Argument and the Action of Plato's Laws
The Argument and the Action of Plato's Laws
Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy
Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy
Xenophon's Socratic Discourse
Xenophon's Socratic Discourse
Xenophon's Socrates
Xenophon's Socrates
Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought (Suny Series, Jewish Writings of Strauss)
Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought (Suny Series, Jewish Writings of Strauss)