Edward Shils (1910–1995) was one of the leading intellectual defenders of freedom in the twentieth century. Learned in history, politics, literature, economics, theology, and legal history, he taught for many years at the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought and at Peterhouse College, Cambridge. In these nine essays, Shils explores the importance of civility and tradition to a free society. The essays' significance is enormous, for Shils was one of the first and assuredly one of the most courageous writers to examine the natures of civility and civil society and their relation to a free, ordered, liberal democratic society. As H. R. Trevor-Roper has written, "Deeply concerned for the Western values of rationality, freedom, and progress, Shils was dismayed by the threat which they now faced: the threat posed by the absolute individualism into which Western Liberalism had degenerated." Among the essays are "Tradition and Liberty: Antinomy and Interdependence," "Max Weber and the World Since 1920," and "The Modern University and Liberal Democracy."