Maybe it’s because I’m Japanese-American that I feel skeptical reading Western political philosophy. When were we ever born as free individuals into a state of nature, as Locke and Rousseau asserted? I’ve always believed that we’re born into families, with binding ties, benefits, and obligations. The Bible affirms that relationships are not merely social constructs for us to make and break as we choose.
Samuel Adams's book is important on two counts: he focuses on the once-neglected period of the Second Temple, and he asks economic questions rather than theological-spiritual ones.