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About the book
  • Published: 26 November 1993
  • ISBN: 9781857151626
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 409
  • RRP: $32.99

The Social Contract And The Discources


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THE SOCIAL CONTRACT is one of three most influential treatises ever written (the others being PLato's REPUBLIC and Marx's DAS KAPITAL) Of the three it is safe to say that only THE SOCIAL CONTRACT is much read in its entirety today, and it continues to exert a direct influence on contemporary political thought. In it - and in the three DISCOURCES here printed with it - Rousseau discusses the nature of liberty, human rights and the state; the origins of private property the function of education; the economic structure of society; and the relationship between individuals and the community. This revised re-issue of G. D. H. Cole's celebrated translation, long published by Everyman, includes sections from the manuscript draft of the text and is accompanied by an extensive new introduction, chronology and bibliography prepared by Professor Alan Ryan.

  • Pub date: 26 November 1993
  • ISBN: 9781857151626
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 409
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Peter Constantine's honors include the PEN Translation Prize, the National Translation Award, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize, and Greece’s Translators of Literature Prize. He translated Machiavelli’s The Prince for Vintage Classics.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva in 1712. He was a writer and political theorist of the Enlightenment. In 1750 he published his first important work 'A Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts' (1750) where he argued that man had become corrupted by society and civilisation. In 1755, he published 'Discourse on the Origin of Inequality' and in 'The Social Contract' (1762) he argued, "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains". This political treatise earned him exile from his home city of Geneva and arguably inspired the French Revolution (his ashes were transferred to the Pantheon in Paris in 1794). He also wrote 'Èmile', a treatise on education and 'The New Eloise' (1761). This novel scandalised the French authorities who ordered Rousseau's arrest. In his last 10 years, Rousseau wrote his 'Confessions'. In The Confessions he remembers his adventurous life, his achievements and the persecution he suffered from opponents. His revelations inspired the likes of Proust, Goethe and Tolstoy among others. Rousseau died on 2 July in France in 1778.

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