William Ophuls


William Ophuls is the pen name of Patrick Ophuls. He served for eight years as a Foreign Service Officer in Washington, Abidjan, and Tokyo before receiving a PhD in political science from Yale University in 1973. After teaching briefly at Northwestern University, he became an independent scholar and author. He has published three books on the ecological, social, and political challenges confronting modern industrial civilization. When not at his writing desk, he spends his time rambling in nature, either in his  native California or in the mountains of Europe.




“For decades, William Ophuls has been among the world's most original thinkers about the implications of our global ecological crisis for freedom, democracy, and political order. In Plato’s Revenge, he goes to the essence of this crisis: the deep, tacit, and widespread beliefs that nature and society are nothing more than machines, that the state should play no role in cultivating citizens’ virtue, and that self-interested individuals should rely solely on reason to guide their lives. Ophuls weaves together the ideas of some of history’s greatest thinkers to argue that humankind's future lies in small, simple republics that cultivate their citizens’ virtue through natural law. In doing so, he shreds conventional wisdom and invigorates our conversation about the kind of world we intend our grandchildren to inherit.”

—Thomas Homer-Dixon, University of Waterloo, author of The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization


Praise for Plato’s Revenge