Richard Rorty is one of the most oft-cited yet least understood philosophers of the twentieth century. This book offers an overview and introduction to Rorty's ideas, key writings and contributions to the various fields of philosophy. Chronologically organized, the book traces the development of Rorty's thought and examines all the key topics, and controversies, central to his work. Ronald A. Kuipers introduces Rorty's complex thought through the exploration of three Rortyan personas: The Philosophical Therapist, The Liberal Ironist, and the Anticlerical Prophet. This exploration of Rorty's multivalent yet deeply coherent intellectual identity is set against the background of Rorty's personal motivations for studying philosophy, and for pursuing the controversial questions he did. The book portrays how, in conversation with the traditions of American Pragmatism, Analytic Philosophy, and Continental Thought, Rorty weaves his own unique and original philosophy. Rorty's originality resides in his fresh approach to interrelated social and political problems, revealing a thinker who has important reasons for wading into controversial intellectual waters. This is the ideal companion to study of this hugely influential thinker.