Modern social thought is largely the intellectual product of a number of "great minds." Revisiting the central theories of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mead, Parsons, Goffman, Garfinkel, and Luhmann, this text introduces readers to a select group of thinkers who have made significant, distinctive, and controversial contributions to the development of modern social theory. Offering a careful selection of primary sources that encourage direct engagement with the writings, Poggi and Sciortino emphasize the theoretical insights and problems that remain valuable to discussions of social theory today. Each chapter introduces key ideas, whether classical or contemporary, through a discussion of each theorist's contribution to the exploration of the human actors and the consequences, potentialities, and vulnerabilities embedded in social relationships. Great Minds was originally published in Italian. This first-ever English-language edition includes a new final chapter on the work of Luhmann.