ORCID: 0000-0002-5051-5307

In chapter 1 (“Introduction: Seeing Through Loss”), Lucy Cane introduces Sheldon Wolin’s political thought and explores the central role that the theme of loss plays in his work. The chapter begins with a comparison between Wolin’s mournful intellectual tendencies and those of one of his influences, Alexis de Tocqueville. Cane then examines the promise of Wolin’s mournful politics in relation both to contemporary democratic theory and to the contemporary political realities of right-wing populism and a Donald Trump presidency. Using insights from psychoanalysts Freud, Klein, Torok, and Abraham, chapter 1 outlines the risk that Wolin’s politics of mourning will become melancholic. It briefly assesses Wolin’s attempts to overcome this risk, and ends with a summary of the following chapters.