Strauss, the critic of modern civilization, found himself in the very heart of a liberal democracy. The political entity against which he had railed was now a sanctuary that welcomed him and offered safety. Looking back, he saw a world going up in smoke. Faraway Europe had failed: it had reached sublime philosophical peaks but also plummeted to the depths of Nazi barbarity, and parts of it were currently held captive by the tyranny of Communism. Saving his new home from a similar fate became the overarching goal of Strauss’ teaching in the United States, which he saw as a mirror image of Europe and the place where humanity and the West stood a second chance. By teaching and interpreting the history of philosophy, Strauss tried to prevent “the closing of the American mind” and help reinforce it.