Lee Trepanier

Written by Lee Trepanier

Lee Trepanier is a Professor of Political Science, University Pre-Law Advisor, and Department Chair at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan where he teaches political philosophy, constitutional law, and American Politics. He is also the editor of VoegelinView (2016-present) and the editor of Lexington Books series Politics, Literature, and Film (2013-present).

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Saul Bellow

A controversial novel when it was first published, Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet (1970) remains worth revisiting, even though the social and political conflicts of the 1960s have transformed themselves into an acceptable bobo ethos. With the inauguration of a new president, who was brought into office on the campaign message of hope and change, Bellow’s novel serves as a…

Bellow’s first novel, Dangling Man (1944), is about a man named Joseph who does not know how to integrate himself in American life without losing the spiritual value of his isolation from society. Influenced by the current milieu of the time of modernism and existentialism, Bellow presents an alienated hero who seeks to find meaning in a hostile environment.1 Written…

In my recently released co-edited volume, A Political Companion to Saul Bellow, the contributors explore the politics and political thought of one of the seminal fiction writers of America. Exploring Saul Bellow’s politics and his thought on race, religion, gender, multiculturalism, as well as other aspects of modernity that pushed him into the conservative camp, these contributors offer fresh insights…

In a period of less than five years, Philip Roth has published four short novels in rapid succession: Everyman (2006), Indignation (2008), The Humbling (2009), and Nemesis (2010).[1] Roth himself claims that these are his last novels – “To tell you the truth, I’m done” – and plans to spend his remaining years rereading “all of my books beginning with…

In the first half of the nineteenth-century, the question of history – its origins, its continuing burden, and the possibility of transcending it – preoccupied American thinkers, writers, and political leaders. Specifically, the controversy of slavery explicitly raised the question of history to the forefront of the national debate, with the United States’ declaration that all men were created equal…

In a chapter in The Conservative Mind titled “Transitional Conservatism: New England Sketches,” Russell Kirk cited John Quincy Adams, Orestes Brownson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne as figures in whom the “conservative instinct struggled for successful expression” in a period of rapid innovation that was sweeping aside the ancestral institutions of nineteenth-century America.1 Confronted with mass democracy, industrialism, and Transcendentalism, these New…

March 1917: The Red Wheel. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2017.
 
Historians like Eric Hobsbawn had argued that the Russian Revolution was the seminal event of the twentieth century: “for “a mere thirty to forty years after Lenin’s arrival at the Finland Station in Petrograd, one third of humanity found itself living under regimes directly derived from…

Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence. Jessica Hooten Wilson. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2017.
 
When suffering from tuberculosis and confined to a sanatorium, Percy read Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground which led him to question whether science could answer life’s existential questions. This experience eventually led to Percy’s conversion to Catholicism and career as a novelist.…

Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice has been interpreted in numerous ways that range from focusing on the roles of women and marriage to examining questions of justice and mercy to exploring the appropriate relationship between Christian and Jews.[1] While most critics have paid particular attention to the character Shylock and the themes associated with him, I will look at the…