PLATO AND DIONYSIUS by Ludwig Marcuse

PLATO AND DIONYSIUS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Students of government and history- and many other readers with an interest in books off the beaten track, will find this lively discussion of the three attempts made by Plato to put theory into practice a fascinating study. The author has brought history to life, creating living beings rather than dry dust, and making the period live again. This practical side of the idealist, Plato, is not well known. He despised tyranny, as brute force, but yearned toward the tyranny of a good and just man, who would austerely dominate his people toward the end of the Perfect State, with lasting peace as a goal. During 25 years three attempts were made, in Syracuse, a tyrant-held city, each coming closer to success. Plato's theory that the Perfect State demanded a king guided by a philosopher proved impractical, when after two failures, the loyal Platonist, Dion, seized the government, only to find that the teachings of Plato covered the ends to be achieved, while ignoring the means to reach them. There's a suggestion of modern application in much that is here- though at times it lacks clarity.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1947
ISBN: 1163137596
Publisher: Knopf