In this engaging and accessible introduction to Hegel's theory of knowledge, Tom Rockmore brings together the philosopher's life, his thought, and his historical moment--without, however, reducing one to another. Laying out the philosophical tradition of German idealism, Rockmore concisely explicates the theories of Kant, Fichte, and Schelling, essential to an understanding of Hegel's thought. He then explores Hegel's formulation of his own position in relation to this tradition and follows Hegel's ideas through the competing interpretations of his successors. Even today, according to Rockmore, Hegel's system remains an essentially modern conception of knowledge, superior to Kant's critical philosophy and surprisingly relevant to our philosophical situation. Rockmore's remarkably lucid and succinct introduction to Hegel's thought, with its distinctively historical approach, will benefit students of philosophy, intellectual history, politics, culture, and society.