Nietzsche or Aristotle? Moral subjectivism or moral objectivism? Faced with these stark alternatives, more and more American political theorists and philosophers find themselves in the middle, asserting that moral truth is neither objective fact nor subjective fiction, but a social construction. However understandable, such a compromise is precisely that, a compromising position, Ruth Lessl Shively contends. A powerful critique of this middle position, her book makes a compelling argument for moral realism as the only workable answer to the real dilemmas of political theory and moral life.