Martha Nussbaum is a living legend. She has helped define contemporary debates on everything from the finer points of liberal political theory and feminism to ancient Greek drama and the rationality of emotions. Who else could draw lessons from the tragedies of Sophocles and Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton with equal felicity as she does in her latest book?
The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis is an engaging blend of current events, theoretical argument, and examples drawn from literature. For instance, in Alexander Hamilton and his antagonist, Aaron Burr, Nussbaum sees the reflection of a present-day conflict between "two possible political lives." Hamilton dedicates himself to a "life of love and service to the new nation," while Burr leads a "life of fear-driven envy and zero-sum competition."