These essays are designed for students of political philosophy who are approaching the great texts of the past for the first time. Intended to help students find their way into the texts and get the most from them, while encouraging further exploration, the essays offer selective interpretation of setting, form, and content in clear, straightforward language. Texts discussed are Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Augustine's City of God, Machiavelli's Prince and Discourses, Hobbes's Leviathan, Locke's Second Treatise of Government, and Rousseau's Social Contract.
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This book has been designed to enable all students of political ideas to gain a fuller appreciation of the great works which form the foundation of the subject. It spans a critical period: from the turbulent era of the American and French Revolutions through to the calmer waters of the nineteenth century. Seven classic texts have been chosen for analysis: Hamilton's The Federalist, Sieyes' What is the Third Estate?, Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, Hegel's The Philosophy of Right, de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto, and Mill's On Liberty. Together they illustrate and express the main themes of the period. The most prominent of these is the growing distinction between the state and society and the problems that this brings in its train. Other themes embrace the interplay of revolution and reaction, the growth of representative government, and the challenge posed by democracy. The clear analysis and explanation contained in each essay will enable the reader to return to the original texts with a new understanding and insight.About the Author:
Murray Forsyth and Maurice Keens-Soper are both at the University of Leicester.
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