On politics : a history of political thought from Herodotus to the present

by Ryan, Alan, 1940-

Format: Print Book 2012
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 6 of 6 copies
Available (6)
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CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction JA71.R93 2012 bk. 1
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  JA71.R93 2012 bk. 1
 
 
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction JA71.R93 2012 bk. 2
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  JA71.R93 2012 bk. 2
 
 
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 320.01 RYA 2012 V.1
Location  Sewickley Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  320.01 RYA 2012 V.1
 
 
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 320.01 RYA 2012 V.2
Location  Sewickley Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  320.01 RYA 2012 V.2
 
 
Whitehall Public Library Nonfiction Collection NF 320.01 R952o v.1
Location  Whitehall Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction Collection
 
Call Number  NF 320.01 R952o v.1
 
 
Whitehall Public Library Nonfiction Collection NF 320.01 R952o v.2
Location  Whitehall Public Library
 
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Call Number  NF 320.01 R952o v.2
 
 
Summary
Both a history and an examination of human thought and behavior spanning three thousand years, On Politics thrillingly traces the origins of political philosophy from the ancient Greeks to Machiavelli in Book I and from Hobbes to the present age in Book II. Whether examining Lord Acton's dictum that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" or explicating John Stuart Mill's contention that it is "better to be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied," Alan Ryan evokes the lives and minds of our greatest thinkers in a way that makes reading about them a transcendent experience. Whether writing about Plato or Augustine, de Toqueville or Thomas Jefferson, Ryan brings a wisdom to his text that illuminates John Dewey's belief that the role of philosophy is less to see truth than to enhance experience. With this unparalleled tour de force, Ryan emerges in his own right as one of the most influential political philosophers of our time.
Contents
Bk. 1. Herodotus to Machiavelli
Bk. 2. Hobbes to the present.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Book 1: From Herodotus to Machiavelli. Remarkably detailed yet highly readable, the first volume of this monumental history of political theory covers an enormous span of time and wealth of writings, from Herodotus through Aristotle, the ancient Roman theorists of law, St. Augustine and the medievals, right up to Machiavelli. In tracing the origins of modern conceptions of the political, Ryan (John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism) a professor of political theory at Princeton University, devotes much attention to the great founding texts, such as Plato's Republic and Cicero's On Duties. However it's Ryan's insistence on the influence that the formation and development of the Roman Catholic papacy had on emerging ideas about the nature and role of the nation state that provides the most valuable and fascinating insights. Admirably, Ryan is not afraid to take strong, almost polemical positions, such as when he argues that Plato, in his writings on justice, merely offers an "antipolitics." Questionable as such a thesis may be, it adds satisfying frisson to otherwise familiar material. In addition, contemporary American politics lurk in the background, as Ryan, in this absorbing and edifying read, regularly reminds us of what modern citizens might gain from a deeper understanding of the roots of today's political ideals and loyalties. Book 2: From Hobbes to the Present. This second volume, which itself runs well over 600 pages, covers the turn of the 17th century to the present. Starting with Thomas Hobbes, whom Ryan regards as the father of our modern conceptions of politics, the book ranges through Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx. In addition, Ryan devotes several chapters to modern movements such as republicanism, imperialism, various strands of socialisms, and fascism. Throughout, Ryan demonstrates a prodigious grasp of the various theories and ideas, and the history and events that fuel and underpin such notions. Again, contemporary American politics constitute the implicit context through which we might judge and apply such ideas. Ryan frequently considers the political ramifications of slavery, and offers nuanced views on the relationship between socialism, liberalism, and the welfare state. He admirably considers the political thought of advocates of violence, such as Franz Fanon and the Islamic nationalism of Sayyid Qutb. To his credit, Ryan approaches the problematic aspects of modern democracy with real concern, even if his commitment to it veers between pragmatic and resigned. Nonetheless, these two volumes constitute a remarkable achievement, one that will be immensely valuable to both students and readers for years to come. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Political science -- Philosophy -- History.
Political scientists -- History.
Publisher New York :Liveright Pub. Corp.,2012
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 2 volumes (xxv, 1114 pages) ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780871404657 (hardcover)
0871404656 (hardcover)
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