Montesquieu is widely regarded as one of the founders of many of the social sciences. His broad erudition and deep concentration led to his great work 'The Spirit of the Laws' in 1748, but before that he had written other notable works including the Persian Letters in 1721. By considering his life and his work in relation to each other, and all his works together, we can see inside the mind of one of the greatest of modern thinkers.
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Alan Macfarlane was born in Shillong, India, in 1941 and educated at the Dragon School, Sedbergh School, Oxford and London Universities. He is the author of over twenty books, including The Origins of English Individualism (1978) and Letters to Lily: On How the World Works (2005). He has worked in England, Nepal, Japan and China as both an historian and anthropologist. He was elected to the British Academy in 1986 and is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and a Life Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.
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