Synopses & Reviews
Written by Thomas Hobbes and first published in 1651, Leviathan is widely considered the greatest work of political philosophy ever composed in the English language. Hobbes's central argument—that human beings are first and foremost concerned with their own fears and desires, and that they must relinquish basic freedoms in order to maintain a peaceful society—has found new adherents and critics in every generation. This new edition, which uses modern text and relies on large-sheet copies from the 1651 Head version, includes interpretive essays by four leading Hobbes scholars: John Dunn, David Dyzenhaus, Elisabeth Ellis, and Bryan Garsten. Taken together with Ian Shapiros wide-ranging introduction, they provide fresh and varied interpretations of Leviathan for our time.
"One of the greatest works of political theory ever written. . . . An ingenious account of the modern state and its intellectual foundations. . . . [Editor Ian] Shapiro has done well here and found some shrewd commentators."—Jeffrey Collins, The Wall Street Journal
Leviathan is both a magnificent literary achievement and the greatest work of political philosophy in the English language. Permanently challenging, it has found new applications and new refutations in every generation. This new edition reproduces the first printed text, retaining the original punctuation but modernizing the spelling. It offers exceptionally thorough and useful annotation, an introduction that guides the reader through the complexities of Hobbes's arguments, and a substantial index.
About the Author
Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University and Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. His many books include Democratic Justice and The Moral Foundations of Politics, both published by Yale University Press.