Leo Strauss and the American Right
Shadia B. Drury
In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States for his first term and the conservative revolution that had been slowly developing in the United States finally emerged in full-throated roar. Who provoked this revolution? Shadia Drury provides a fascinating answer to this question as she looks at the work of Leo Strauss, a seemingly reclusive German-Jewish émigré and scholar, who was one of the most influential individuals in the neoconservative movement, a man widely seen as the godfather of the Republican party’s “Contract with America.” Alan Bloom, author of The Closing of the American Mind, was one of Strauss’s students; the works of Irving Kristol, Gertrude Himmelfarb, and William Kristol, as well as Chief Justice Clarence Thomas and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, also show Strauss’s influence. Drury delves deeply into Strauss’s work at the University of Chicago, where he taught his students that, if they truly loved America, they must save her from her fateful enchantment with liberalism. Leo Strauss and the American Right is a fascinating piece of work that anyone interested in understanding our current political situation will want to read.
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