Straussophobia

Straussophobia : Defending Leo Strauss and Straussians Against Shadia Drury and Other Accusers

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Description

Leo Strauss and his students have long been accused of mendacity, elitism, and militarism, but the Iraq War has prompted unprecedented levels of caustic and inaccurate denunciations. Inappropriate criticisms have issued from artists (Tim Robbins), politicians (Ron Paul), journalists (Joe Klein), and even highly lauded scholars such as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Gordon Wood, Douglas Massey, Stephen Holmes, Anne Norton, Shadia Drury, Sheldon Wolin, John Pocock, John Yolton, Nicholas Xenos, and Brian Leiter. In Straussophobia, Peter Minowitz provides a methodical and detailed critique of the major offenders, especially of Drury, who maintains that Strauss established a 'covert tyranny' that would keep the Western world 'mired in perpetual war.' In replying to such charges_and to various authors who belittle Strauss's contributions as a scholar_Minowitz highlights the imaginative yet meticulous manner in which Strauss interpreted Thucydides, Plato, Xenophon, Farabi, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Carl Schmitt. Straussophobia also provides both a comprehensive assessment of Strauss's 1933 letter that commended 'fascist, authoritarian, and imperial' principles, and a compelling account of Strauss's influence, or lack of influence, on neoconservative promoters of the Iraq War (e.g., Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Lewis Libby). The book likewise breaks new ground in employing diversity discourse to explain and combat the bigotry and buffoonery that pervade attacks against Strauss and Straussians_and in drawing on Strauss to illuminate the distortions that mar some widely-used arguments for affirmative action.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 346 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739140191
  • 9780739140192

About Peter Minowitz

Peter Minowitz is associate professor of political science at Santa Clara University and author of Profits, Priests, and Princes: Adam Smith's Emancipation of Economics from Politics and Religion.show more

Review quote

There have been several recent attempts to explicate and defend the work of Leo Strauss. Peter Minowitz, however, is accurate in claiming that his effort represents the most systematic and comprehensive response to what he refers to as Shadia Drury's "inflammatory" statements and "diatribes," as well as the aspersions cast by Tim Robbins, Anne Norton, Nicholas Xenos, and a variety of others....fascinating. Minowitz's main but by no means sole target is the Canadian political scientist Shadia Drury .To his credit, Minowitz is more thorough than any of Strauss' previous defenders in exposing Drury's "exaggerations, misquotations, contradictions, factual errors, and defective documentation" .The books biggest revelation is Minowitz's contention that Straussians are treated in the Straussophobic literature in much the same way that other "out-groups" are treated by prejudiced majorities ..The author is quick to recognize the many important differences between Straussians and more recognized out-groups, but his observations about the similarly bigoted patterns of though directed against them are striking. The very strange need of the political left to believe in right-wing conspiracies and secret cabals reached its absurd limits when they crowned Leo Strauss as the teacher of evil, par excellence. For anyone who cares about evidence and about the real Leo Strauss and his teachings, Professor Minowitz has utterly destroyed the credibility of those who choose to slander for political reasons rather than argue in search of the truth.--Ted V. McAllister, Pepperdine University Straussophobia is a brilliant counter-attack against Shadia Drury and those who share her phobias of Leo Strauss. Minowitz now occupies the commanding high ground in all directions. No longer will sloppy quotes, silly mistakes or sillier misinterpretations do. Those who might wish to challenge Minowitz will have to respond in kind to his provocative and comprehensive scholarship or leave the field in tatters. My guess is that the responses will either be pro forma or more likely simply silence.--John Murley" With a truly unique approach, Minowitz ably refutes many of the wilder allegations about Strauss and some of his students that have recently found their way into American media.--Thomas L. Pangle, Professor and author, Ennobling of Democracy DIS .40 "Straussophobia" is a brilliant counter-attack against Shadia Drury and those who share her phobias of Leo Strauss. Minowitz now occupies the commanding high ground in all directions. No longer will sloppy quotes, silly mistakes or sillier misinterpretations do. Those who might wish to challenge Minowitz will have to respond in kind to his provocative and comprehensive scholarship or leave the field in tatters. My guess is that the responses will either be pro forma or more likely simply silence.--John Murley" Straussophobia is a brilliant counter-attack against Shadia Drury and those who share her phobias of Leo Strauss. Minowitz now occupies the commanding high ground in all directions. No longer will sloppy quotes, silly mistakes or sillier misinterpretations do. Those who might wish to challenge Minowitz will have to respond in kind to his provocative and comprehensive scholarship or leave the field in tatters. My guess is that the responses will either be pro forma or--more likely--simply silence.--John Murleyshow more