Over the course of his varied and distinguished academic life, Eric Voegelin was often called upon by review editors of scholarly journals as well as by editors in the popular press to examine, summarize, and critically assess the work of other scholars, of statesmen, and of men of affairs. The contents of the books Voegelin reviewed mirror his changing interests over the years, including questions of method, points of legal philosophy and jurisprudence, and issues of race, war, and the aftermath of war. Of course, he was frequently called upon as well to review standard texts and new editions and monographs across the full range of political science.
This collection of Voegelin's reviews amounts to a reflection in miniature of many of the problems Voegelin tackled in his essays, articles, and books from the 1920s until the 1950s, when, owing to the press of other business, he began to decline requests to review the work of others. Some of his reviews are little more than clinical summaries; others are analytic essays. A few are extended engagements with a text or a set of problems. Occasionally, particularly among the later reviews originally written in English, one finds flashes of Voegelin's legendary wit and a restrained impatience with the inadequate approaches or sheer incompetence of others. These book reviews will be of interest to all students and scholars of Eric Voegelin's work.