History of Political Thought

History of Political Thought

History of Political Thought

History of Political Thought

Excerpt

At the present time no satisfactory single-volume history of political theory exists in the English language. Numerous excellent works deal with special topics or with limited periods. Professor Dunning's three volumes are a splendid monument to his scholarship, and must serve as the basis for the work of any later writer. His last volume, however, leaves unexplained the theories of the past half century, during which period important movements have taken place. His work makes no attempt to trace the development of the theory of international relations, and gives practically no attention to the development of political thought in the United States. It also shows little realization of the connection between economic and political theory during the past two centuries. It is rather a survey of political literature than a history of the development of political thought in relation to its historical, institutional, and intellectual background. The present volume aims to meet, to some extent, these deficiencies.

Obviously, the attempt to cover so wide a field in a single volume raises difficult problems of selection and proportion. It also necessitates a condensed treatment of topics that deserve fuller elaboration. For these reasons a rather extensive bibliography is included. The source material, consisting of the writings of the authors referred to in the text, appears in the form of footnotes arranged in general chronological order throughout the book. Secondary material, historical, biographical, and critical, is referred to at the end of each chapter. Contemporary political theory is given relatively less attention than it deserves because a volume on that subject, written by Professor Francis W. Coker, will appear in this series; and because a memorial volume in preparation by former students of Professor Dunning will cover the same field.

The author wishes to express his appreciation of the valuable assistance given by Professor Frederic A. Ogg, the editor of the Century Political Science Series, by Professor Paul H. Douglas of the University of Chicago, by Professor Francis W. Coker of Ohio State University . . .

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