Over the past three decades, the French philosopher Pierre Manent has published a series of works on the destiny of the West and our modern political condition that are both profound and—atypical of Parisian intellectuals—expressed in luminous prose. In books that include Tocqueville and the Nature of Democracy (1982), An Intellectual History of Liberalism (1987), The City of Man (1994), A World Beyond Politics? (2004), and The Metamorphoses of the City (2010), Manent engages with the West’s greatest political minds, from Aristotle and Cicero to Machiavelli and Montesquieu and beyond. These thinkers aren’t prisoners of time, Manent insists; if studied attentively, they speak truths—often explosive truths—across the ages.


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