Liberalism Ancient and Modern

The Liberal Party in Britain is at a low ebb in its fortunes with a tiny number of MPs in the Commons at the start of 2018. Behind the poor showing, though, stands a tradition which, arguably, has brought in more positive social change to Britain than any other.

Should you wish to read up on the principles which motivate liberals, this is a good start. Liberalism Ancient and Modern is collection of essays and lectures by an esteemed American scholar. The volume ranges over critical themes that define Strauss’s thought: the tension between reason and revelation in the Western tradition, the philosophical roots of liberal democracy, and especially the conflicting yet complementary relationship between ancient and modern liberalism. The essays on Plato, Lucretius, Maimonides and Marsilius of Padua are of more special interest, as may be the discussion of Spinoza and the theological-political predicament of liberal Jews. But this may well ignite an interest in the whole philosophy of liberalism, and lead to further reading.

Check if this well known work is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at

288 pages in University of Chicago Press

Originally published 1968

ISBN  978-0226776897

Professor Leo Strauss

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