Leo Strauss: the Ancient as Modern

Bernard Susser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although his approach to politics and philosophy were relatively little known outside the United States, Leo Strauss was perhaps the most revered and the most controversial figure in post‐war American political science. His followers today form what is arguably the most cohesive intellectual fraternity in the discipline. They constitute a highly influential opposition to the empirical‐quantitative course taken by political science and political philosophy. This study explores Strauss's ideas highlighting the unconventional mixture of substance and style that gives them an arrestingly idiosyncratic character. Substantively, Strauss belonged to the pre‐modern intellectual tradition that understood Truth as accessible and knowable through philosophical contemplation. The form of his argumentation, however, his relentless critique of modernity and the moderns, is conducted with all the cognitive weaponry provided for by the modernist intellectual style.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-514
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this study was granted by the German Research Council ( DFG) within the research framework ‘Technological Change and Regional Development’.


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