Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought

Front Cover
Sheldon S. Wolin
Princeton University Press, 2004 - Philosophy - 761 pages
3 Reviews

This is a significantly expanded edition of one of the greatest works of modern political theory. Sheldon Wolin's Politics and Vision inspired and instructed two generations of political theorists after its appearance in 1960. This new edition retains intact the original ten chapters about political thinkers from Plato to Mill, and adds seven chapters about theorists from Marx and Nietzsche to Rawls and the postmodernists. The new chapters, which show how thinkers have grappled with the immense possibilities and dangers of modern power, are themselves a major theoretical statement. They culminate in Wolin's remarkable argument that the United States has invented a new political form, "inverted totalitarianism," in which economic rather than political power is dangerously dominant. In this new edition, the book that helped to define political theory in the late twentieth century should energize, enlighten, and provoke generations of scholars to come.

Wolin originally wrote Politics and Vision to challenge the idea that political analysis should consist simply of the neutral observation of objective reality. He argues that political thinkers must also rely on creative vision. Wolin shows that great theorists have been driven to shape politics to some vision of the Good that lies outside the existing political order. As he tells it, the history of theory is thus, in part, the story of changing assumptions about the Good.

In the new chapters, Wolin displays all the energy and flair, the command of detail and of grand historical developments, that he brought to this story forty years ago. This is a work of immense talent and intense thought, an intellectual achievement that will endure.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - patito-de-hule - LibraryThing

Professor Wolin shows the development of political philosophy from ancient times to post-modern. He is an excellent writer and clarifies concepts by showing what each philosopher in his proper context ... Read full review

Review: Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought (Expanded Edition)

User Review  - Thomas - Goodreads

Informative, but dull. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Sheldon S. Wolin is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Princeton University.

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