The English and French revolutions generated a model of political action adequate to the fragile and tragic nature of politics. This model of action as alliance has since been marginalized by two over-rationalized and optimistic models: Adam Smith's conception of politics as destructive liberation and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's conception of republican participatory unification. These two models dominate contemporary political thinking, from left to right and back again, leading it into impasses and impotency. Here, Oliver Feltham argues that it is time to revive the forgotten model of joint-action, buried since its revolutionary heyday. Feltham identifies rival models of political action in the works of key philosophers and episodes of political history, namely Smith, Hume, Rousseau, Burke and the French and American revolutions. He presents a theory of politics as an 'action-zone', and creates a vantage point from which one can translate critical theory's concerns with power and ideology into mainstream political philosophy's concerns with the theorization of justice and equality.