The Philosophic Roots of Modern Ideology

Faculty Member: 

Rick Matthews

About the authors:

David Ingersoll was Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Delaware whose works included Communism, Fascism, and Democracy: The Origins and Development of Three Ideologies (1971). Richard Matthews is NEH Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University whose works include The Radical Politics of Thomas Jefferson (1984) and If Men Were Angels: James Madison and the Heartless Empire of Reason (1996). Andrew Davison is Professor of Political Science at Vassar College whose works include Border Thinking on the Edges of the West: Crossing over the Hellespont (2014), Corporatist Ideology in Kemalist Turkey: Progress or Order? (2004), and Secularism and Revivalism in Turkey: A Hermeneutic Reconsideration (1998).


Sample Reviews:  

There are two kinds of textbooks: those that respect the student and those that do not. This volume, like its predecessors, honors and even admires the reader. It's wonderfully written, provocative, educative, and ever-timely. The new chapter on feminism and the revised chapter on theopolitics and fascism (to include a consideration of "Trumpism")—are worth the price of admission alone. This will continue to be THE book for introductory political theory courses and upper-level courses on comparative political ideologies.  ~Gregory White, Professor of Government, Smith College

This is a fantastic teaching resource!  It is so difficult to find a text that speaks plainly without simplifying the complexities of political ideologies. Their survey of the history and evolution of feminist thought is extensive, and inclusive. They also include significant portions from the original texts, allowing the voices of different feminist theorists to reach students. Their analysis lays the foundation for having informed discussions about why it is difficult to have unified feminist politics, and explores the rapidly evolving politics of both postcolonial and transgender identities. They provide an excellent tool for linking the intricacies of feminist theory to the complexities of feminist politics. ~Keally McBride, University of San Francisco

The new edition of The Philosophic Roots of Modern Ideology offers an outstanding introduction to modern politics and modern ideologies. With style and rigor, the authors combine the study of major modern Western ideologies—liberalism, conservativism, Marxism, feminism, and fascism—with sensitive accounts of Maoism and Islamism. They encourage thoughtful study of each ideology, with careful attention to their affinities, differences, and internal complexities; and they demonstrate compellingly the continuing resonance of the various ideologies, including fascism and the theopolitical ideologies. ~ Bruce Baum, University of British Columbia

With great rigor and remarkable skill, Ingersoll, Matthews, and Davison offer a superbly rich and thorough study of modern political ideologies that continue to mold and move us. Deftly dissecting a wide spectrum of ideologies, the authors map their constitutive ideas and excavate their theoretical roots with passion, judiciousness, and attention to detail. They fearlessly examine contemporary political discourse, holding up a mirror to the present. Meticulous and erudite without ever becoming inaccessible, The Philosophic Roots of Modern Ideology is a gripping book that will prove indispensable for the political education of generations of students to come, inspiring them to become literate, discerning, and critically engaged denizens of the world. ~Banu Bargu, New School for Social Research

The Philosophic Roots of Modern Ideology is a unique compendium of the most potent political forces of modernity--massive movements and groundbreaking historic events have been the causes and consequences of these ideologies. The authors have done the scholarly community an invaluable service by putting together a magnificent volume that reads like an epic saga of the best and the worst of humanity over the last two hundred years. To weave this dramatic history of ideas and movements into a graceful and convincing narrative is a spectacular feat of scholarly erudition and imagination.  ~Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University