Of the Social Contract and Other Political Writings - Penguin Classics

Paperback (04 Oct 2012)

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Publisher's Synopsis

'Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.'

These are the famous opening words of a treatise that has stirred vigorous debate ever since its first publication in 1762. Rejecting the view that anyone has a natural right to wield authority over others, Rousseau argues instead for a pact, or 'social contract', that should exist between all the citizens of a state and that should be the source of sovereign power. From this fundamental premise, he goes on to consider issues of liberty and law, freedom and justice, arriving at a view of society that has seemed to some a blueprint for totalitarianism, to others a declaration of democratic principles.

Translated by Quintin Hoare
With a new introduction by Christopher Bertram

Book information

ISBN: 9780141191751
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Pub date:
DEWEY: 320.11
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 356
Weight: 294g
Height: 198mm
Width: 129mm
Spine width: 23mm