Alan Ryan’s On Tocqueville and On Marx were published last year. He is the author of the two-volume work On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present. He is visiting professor of philosophy at Stanford.


IN THE REVIEW

The Good Patriots

Abraham Lincoln, 1870; Edward Snowden, 2014

Moral Imagination

by David Bromwich
A sound instinct prompted David Bromwich to publish Moral Imagination at the same time as his biography of Edmund Burke, and not only because the idea of “a moral imagination” is derived from Burke.1 These essays were written between 1995 and 2012, and although Burke is not the central …

The Dangers of Patriotism

Edmund Burke; miniature portrait, English school, 1795

The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence

by David Bromwich
Edmund Burke, who died in 1797, remains a figure to reckon with more than two centuries later. He has been and still remains an inspiration to American conservatives, most strikingly to those lamenting the absence of an American cultural aristocracy early in the twentieth century, and to those at the …

In the Spirit of Maya Lin

Martha Nussbaum at the University of Chicago Law School, 2010

Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice

by Martha C. Nussbaum
The English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead described the history of European philosophy as “a series of footnotes to Plato.” In the same spirit, one might say that since the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, political philosophy in American universities has largely consisted of a series of footnotes …

A Big British Moment

King William IV; portrait by Sir Martin Archer Shee, 1833

Perilous Question: Reform or Revolution? Britain on the Brink, 1832

by Antonia Fraser
It is more than forty years since Antonia Fraser revealed a formidable talent for writing serious and well-researched books on history for a wide audience. Her Mary Queen of Scots, published in 1969, won the James Tait Black for biography; since then she has written prize-winning and best-selling accounts of …

The Art of Being Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm and his third wife, Annis Freeman, shortly after their marriage, Mexico, 1953

The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet

by Lawrence J. Friedman, with assistance from Anke M. Schreiber
Some readers will recall being given a copy of Erich Fromm’s popular The Art of Loving in high school or college, usually remembering it with gratitude, but sometimes with a sense that its reliance on the ideas of Freud and Marx now makes it not only unfashionable, but old-fashioned. Still …

They Who Would Be Immortal!

A Tea Party rally in Clinton Township, Michigan, April 2010

The Story of America: Essays on Origins

by Jill Lepore

The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death

by Jill Lepore
Jill Lepore, a professor of American history at Harvard and a staff writer on The New Yorker, has been astonishingly productive. In 1999, not long out of graduate school, she won the Bancroft Prize for The Name of War, an account of the hideous King Philip’s War of 1675–1676 between …

One Virtue at a Time, Please

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Twenty-First Century

by Howard Gardner
Any book with “Truth, Beauty, and Goodness” in the title will stir questions in the reader’s mind. Is the author about to defend Keats’s assertion that “beauty is truth, truth beauty; that is all ye know on earth, and all you need to know?” Catching sight of Howard …

The Passionate Hero, Then and Now

John Stuart Mill with his stepdaughter Helen Taylor, circa 1860

John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand

by Richard Reeves
Richard Reeves’s biography of John Stuart Mill is, surprisingly, the first full-scale biography in more than fifty years. There have been many accounts of different aspects of Mill’s life and work since Michael St. Packe published his Life in 1952,1 but a life in the round is overdue, and …