A Short History of Thomism.
by Romanus Cessario.
Catholic University, 106 pages, $19.95.
There are Thomists, and then there are Thomists. Father Cessario, a Dominican teaching at St. John's Seminary in Boston, provides the useful service of sorting out the thousands of thinkers who since the fourteenth century have claimed to be disciples of the Angelic Doctor, and he does so in very short compass. The so-called transcendental Thomists, such as Karl Rahner and Bernard Lonergan, are definitely outside the circle of authentic Thomism. This book is a handy little guide for philosophers and philosophy majors.
The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims.
edited by Robert Spencer.
Prometheus, 594 pages, $26.
This book might be described as an extended bill of indictment against Islam and a debunking of the still commonly heard claim that Islam has been and is tolerant of minorities. In addition to the editor, authors include Robert Wistrich, Daniel Pipes, and Bat Ye'or-the last the author of the recently published Eurabiaand other books that have alerted the West to the reality of “dhimmitude,” meaning the subservient place of Christians and Jews under Islamic rule. As a bill of indictment, it is subject to the com- plaint that it does not include every- thing that needs to be said on the subject, but what it does say is necessary and relentlessly grim reading.
Bertrand de Jouvenel.
by Daniel J. Mahoney.
ISI, 216 pages, $15.
Another volume in ISI's impressive Library of Modern Thinkers. It joins already published books on Robert Nisbet, Ludwig von Mises, Wilhelm Ropke, and Eric Voegelin. Still to come are studies of, among others, Christopher Dawson, Christopher Lasch, John Courtney Murray, Michael Oakeshott, and Michael Polanyi. Daniel Mahoney of Assumption College has done a brilliant job of bringing to life the “conservative liberalism” of Jouvenel, the French philosopher and journalist who died in 1987. Especially valuable is the discussion of the idea of sovereignty in political life, and of the limits and possibilities of politics itself. This is political philosophy of a high order, very readably presented.