(edited with Timothy McCranor) Science Fiction and Political Philosophy: From Bacon to Black Mirror (Politics, Literature, & Film Series from Lexington Books, 2020)
Sometimes called the “literature of ideas,” science fiction is a natural medium for normative political philosophy. Science fiction’s focus on technology, space and time travel, non-human lifeforms, and parallel universes cannot help but invoke the perennial questions of political life, including the nature of a just social order and who should rule; freedom, free will, and autonomy; and the advantages and disadvantages of progress. Rather than offering a reading of a work inspired by a particular thinker or tradition, each chapter presents a careful reading of a classic or contemporary work in the genre (a novel, short story, film, or television series) to illustrate and explore the themes and concepts of political philosophy.
Sinclair Lewis and American Democracy (Politics, Literature, & Film series from Lexington Books, 2017)
Sinclair Lewis was one of the most astute observers of American social and political life. Sinclair Lewis and American Democracy is a highly readable analysis of his novels. The book examines each of Lewis’s novels on key themes in the history of political thought and democracy including freedom and purpose, success and materialism, and nationalism and race. Lewis is revealed to be an unapologetic individualist and a fierce humanitarian. The “Introduction” is excerpted at VoegelinView.
The Case against Democracy (Praeger, 2014)
American democracy is not in a good place. But democracy has always been an imperfect form of government. The Case against Democracy surveys the arguments made against democracy by prominent theorists throughout history, as they relate to contemporary problems and issues. The book ends with a series of minor fixes.