Published Essays, 1940-1952, includes some of Eric Voegelin's most provocative and interesting essays. Containing his first publications after he fled Vienna and settled in the United States following Hitler's annexation of Austria, this volume provides eyewitness commentary on the rise of National Socialism from the first days of World War II onward. A major study entitled "Growth of the Race Idea" presents a masterful summary of the two volumes on that subject Voegelin first published in 1933. A related essay of wide interest is entitled "Nietzsche, the Crisis, and the War."
Another facet of Voegelin's thought incorporated within this volume of the Essays is his extraordinary analysis of the diplomatic correspondence conducted between the Western powers, the papacy, and the Great Khans, whose breathtaking expansion of the Mongol Empire for a time threatened to extinguish Western civilization itself and resulted in a two-century domination of Russia. Another major study is "The Origins of Scientism," an illuminating analysis of the grounds of much of modern philosophy and of all modern political ideologies.
There are also surveys of the state of political theory in the late forties, penetrating studies of utopian thought with essays on Thomas More and Goethe, and a concluding essay that explores the intricacies of "Gnostic Politics"—a familiar theme from Voegelin's contemporaneous New Science of Politics. This volume of published essays shows Eric Voegelin at his most accessible best.