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The Social Contract Paperback – Jan 1 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Digireads.com (Jan. 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420926950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420926958
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,805,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) the French political philosopher and educationalist, is the author of A Discourse on Inequality, and Emile. Maurice Cranston was Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and wrote and published widely on Rousseau, including two volumes of biography. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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MAN was born free, and he is everywhere in chains. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca on June 26 2004
Format: Paperback
This work attests to the application of human freedoms within the
context of organizational structures and governmental institutions . The author explains how the general or collective
will intervenes when it is proper to do so. In addition, the will
is believed to be omnipotent. In the long run, states tend to act in ways that promote self-preservation and perpetuation.
Governments are divided into democracies, monarchies, royalties
and in other organizational frameworks consistent with accomplishing a variety of missions. The State is far removed
from the family. Nevertheless, it is charged with promulgating
laws and conventions agreeable to the general or collective will.
This work is an important contribution to comparative governmental organizations and structures. It explains the
applicable rationale for implementing political distinctions
of virtually every variety and type.
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Format: Paperback
This is a valuable historical document, because it shows us the thinking that led up to the French Revolution. Rousseau wrote: "Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains." What Rousseau means by this is that Man is born free in the State of Nature - it is society, government, and urban life that are the corruptive forces. Without those things, Rousseau argues, man would exist in peaceful co-habitation. What is striking to the modern reader about this claim is how blatantly wrong it is. Rousseau was trying to refute Thomas Hobbes who wrote that the State of Nature is the same as the State of War. Apparently Hobbes got the better of the argument because, as soon as the French Revolution took effect, peaceful liberty went out the window in favor of the Reign of Terror.
But, back to Rousseau. He claims that, even though men in nature peacefully co-exist, it is more beneficial for them to come together to form a society. Thus they SHOULD come together and form a Social Contract. The ideal contract for Rousseau would entail the individual GIVING UP ALL HIS RIGHTS on entering the contract with the understanding that he will get them all back from the Sovereign. Who is the Sovereign? Well, for Rousseau, the Sovereign is the People. If Rousseau's Ideal State were an organism, it would be a large one-celled organism with no differentiation. This is very much unlike Hobbes' Leviathan, with the Sovereign at the head and each part assigned its individual task. For Rousseau, only the SOCIETY AS A WHOLE has the right to govern.
Of course, this system is incredibly unwieldy, that is why - in Rousseau's world - there are a whole bunch of little city-states, like ancient Athens. HERE COMES THE SCARY PART.
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By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 17 2003
Format: Paperback
Deeply influential book, "The Social Contract" is a "must read" for anybody interested in the history of political ideas, or even in history. It had a big influence on the French Revolution, and in many movements after it that considered that the individual owes everything to the state.
After reading this book you will be astounded by the insight that Rousseau (1712-1778) showed. He explains us, among other things, the reason for the formation of political society, and the origin of the social contract.
I believe this is a good book to start a study on political ideas. It is simple and well written, it has had an important political impact and can make you curious enough to know more. If you are interested, read also a book about the history of political ideas (for example the one written by George Sabine), because it can guide you to other interesting books, and can give you a deeper insight into the ideas, circumstances and life of Rousseau.
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By G. F Gori on Jan. 8 2003
Format: Paperback
Jean Jacques Rousseau is truly a great intellectual.His Discourses and The Social Contract are some of the best in Enlightenment thinking. In the Discourses Rousseau exalts the "noble" savage free from the corrupting influence of modern civilization. He believes that civilization has corrupted man from his original, yet ignorant state. I found the Discourses to be a little flighty and unrealistic. The Social Contract was a different story altogether. This is a monumental work. In it Rousseau shows his vast knowledge of the Roman Republic and Empire and the reasons for it's rise and collapse. Rousseau also denounces monarchy and aristocracy as forms of government and exalts republicanism. He also decries the power of organized religion in the oppression of mankind. With his "General Will" theory of the social contract he shows true brilliance. A great buy.
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Format: Paperback
Elucidating the fundamental tenets of social welfare and humanitarianism which have yet to be achieved in most of the world, Rousseau�fs �gSocial Contract�h remains one of humanities greatest literary achievements. Page after riveting page, Rousseau outlines his advocacy of universal emancipation, anti-authoritarianism and equality of condition. Rousseau�fs �gSocial Contract�h is controversial only in that much of what he wrote has proven to be historically irrefutable and, sadly, more relevant than ever in today�fs in-egalitarian world.
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By A Customer on Dec 23 1997
Format: Paperback
Inspired by the unfair treatment of France by their king, J.J. Rousseau wrote this book and ideology based on the equality of men. In this book, Rousseau gives the reader detailed information on his view of the model society. The reader is consumed by the principle stating that no man has any authority over the other, and the balance of man's losses and gains gives the reader a sense of hope in this form of community. This is a must-read for any lover of deep thought and classic literature.
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