The Development of Political Theory: A Critical Analysis was designed to supplement the undergraduate student's readings in the works of primary authors. It will be especially helpful to the graduate student in political theory or philosophy who wishes to supplement his readings by reference to a political theory "primer" in the best sense of the term: that is, a "primer" which deals with beginnings, the beginnings or elements of political theory.
Our judgments about what these beginnings or elements may have been, however, are not intended to supplant the ideas of the student. They are made to assist and supplement his understanding. The conscientious student will always read the primary sources before reading the secondary ones. At the conclusion of each chapter a number of readings are suggested for those who wish to read further. Thus this work was conceived and written not for the lazy or unconscientious, but for those students and teachers alike who want to compare notes with someone who is traveling the same arduous but thoroughly enjoyable road.
With few exceptions, no claim to originality in the following pages can be made. Instead, an immense debt must be acknowledged to those masters of political theory, living and dead, who make it possible for us to engage in political philosophy, admittedly, like pygmies on the shoulders of giants.