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The Social Contract Paperback – Jan 1 2006
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Great Ideas... is the right name for these slim, elegant paperbacks... They are written with precision, force, and care. ("The Wall Street Journal") Penguin Books hopes to provide an economical remedy for time-pressed readers in search of intellectual sustenance. ("USA Today") --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The listing for the 1968 print edition of the translation by Maurice Cranston links to a Kindle edition which is actually the 1913 translation by Cole, which is less clear, has... Read morePublished 10 months ago by bosten
'The tyranny of the majority' - a brilliant phrase coined by the author of 'Democracy In America' and a brilliant chink in the armour of Rousseau's societal vision. Read morePublished on May 12 2003 by Mr. M. P. Turner
Rousseau's ideas are well known. The introduction to this edition by the late Professor Maurice Cranston is very good. Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2002
This highly quotable book has a lot of fundamental democratic principles - though many seem borrowed. This text, at least in translation, is hardly lively or personal. Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2002 by Yan Timanovsky
Rousseau's treatise on the nature of people and their government has left a lasting imprint on political discourse. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2001 by Chad M. Brick
Let's be brief: The Social Contract is, I strongly believe, an objective and deep description of what Rousseau sees as human systems, i.e. Read morePublished on June 28 2001 by Yann Truong
200 years can't make a bad idea good. (Heck, Christianity has proved that 1700 years can't make a bad idea good) Rousseau bogs himself down in the same contradiction that has... Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2000