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Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought - Expanded Edition

Sheldon S. Wolin Wendy Brown

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Princeton University Press
06 September 2016
Politics & government; Political science & theory
Politics and Vision is a landmark work by one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century. This is a significantly expanded edition of one of the greatest works of modern political theory. Sheldon Wolin's Politics and Vision inspired and instructed two generations of political theorists after its appearance in 1960. Substantially expanded for republication in 2004, it is both a sweeping survey of Western political thought and a powerful account of contemporary predicaments of power and democracy. In lucid and compelling prose, Sheldon Wolin offers original, subtle, and often surprising interpretations of political theorists from Plato to Rawls. Situating them historically while sounding their depths, he critically engages their diverse accounts of politics, theory, power, justice, citizenship, and institutions. The new chapters, which show how thinkers have grappled with the immense possibilities and dangers of modern power, are themselves a major theoretical statement. They culminate in Wolin's remarkable argument that the United States has invented a new political form, inverted totalitarianism, in which economic rather than political power is dangerously dominant. In this expanded edition, the book that helped to define political theory in the late twentieth century should energize, enlighten, and provoke generations of scholars to come. Wolin originally wrote Politics and Vision to challenge the idea that political analysis should consist simply of the neutral observation of objective reality. He argues that political thinkers must also rely on creative vision. Wolin shows that great theorists have been driven to shape politics to some vision of the Good that lies outside the existing political order. As he tells it, the history of theory is thus, in part, the story of changing assumptions about the Good. Acclaimed as a tour de force when it was first published, and a major scholarly event when the expanded edition appeared, Politics and Vision will instruct, inspire, and provoke for generations to come.
By:   Sheldon S. Wolin
Foreword by:   Wendy Brown
Imprint:   Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Edition:   Revised & Expanded ed
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 140mm,  Spine: 53mm
Weight:   794g
ISBN:   9780691174051
ISBN 10:   0691174059
Series:   Princeton Classics
Pages:   792
Publication Date:   06 September 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sheldon S. Wolin (1922-2015) was professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University. He taught political theory for forty years and was the founding editor of the journal Democracy. Wendy Brown is Class of 1936 First Chair of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reviews for Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought - Expanded Edition

Winner of the 2006 David and Elaine Spitz Prize, Conference for the Study of Political Thought [T]he original edition ... provided the most impressive synoptic interpretation of politics by any recent Western thinker. Measured, assured, and resolutely independent, it was also wonderfully lacking in self-importance... [T]hat first book remains just as illuminating and every bit as imposing; but it is now accompanied by a second and very different book... Its message is chilling: ... that politics itself, in its generous Western understanding, is well on the way to being eliminated from the experience of human beings. Each of these books is a remarkable achievement. --John Dunn, Times Higher Education Supplement


  • Winner of David and Elaine Spitz Prize, Conference for the Study of Political Thought 2006 (United States)

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