Martin Heidegger and Leo Strauss began their philosophic investigations from the same point. They both started from an overwhelming sense that the modern world had taken a disastrously wrong turn and that nihilism was sapping the West of its moral and cultural potency. What Strauss referred to as the “crisis of the West,” Heidegger characterized as a “darkening of the world”—a world where all men, particularly the creative, are reduced to “a mass” and become subject to the “mediocre.”1 Heidegger’s anodyne to the impending onset of nihilism was expressed most clearly and shockingly in his 1933 Rektoratsrede (Rector’s address), delivered at the University of Freiburg,2 when he publicly embraced and put his mind in the service of National Socialism, a movement that he subsequently praised for its “inner truth and greatness.”3