In this collection of essays, which covers the years from 1934 to1939, we see Eric Voegelin in the role of both scholar and public intellectual in Vienna until he was forced to flee the Nazi terror that descended on Austria in 1938. Revealing the broad spectrum of thinking and scientific study of this relatively young scholar, Voegelin's essays range from Austrian politics, Austrian constitutional history, and European racism to questions of the formation and expression of public opinion, theories of administrative law, and the role of political science in public university education. Several essays serve as useful commentaries on, elaborations of, or synopses of arguments Voegelin made in the five books he had published between 1928 and 1938.
Within these topical headings, there are multiple thematic threads that wind their way through these essays and that remain of interest to contemporary readers. Thirteen of the pieces contained in this collection are short items that Voegelin published in trade journals and newspapers, of which nine appeared in the Wiener Zeitung in 1934 and the Neue Freie Presse in 1937. In these we see two brief periods in which Voegelin played the role of public intellectual not only as a lecturer but also in print.
These essays will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, including constitutional historians, historians of political science, political theorists, and students of Voegelin's later work.