Of The Social Contract and Other Political Writings

Author: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Edited by: Christopher Bertram

Translator: Quintin Hoare

  • Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Published: 04 Oct 2012
Buy Now


A lively new translation of Rousseau's best-known work, accompanied by additional political writings
'Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains' are the famous opening words of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Social Contract, a work of political philosophy that has stirred vigorous debate ever since its publication in 1762. Rejecting the view that anyone has a natural right to sovereignty, Rousseau argues instead for a pact-a 'social contract'-that should exist among all the citizens of a state and that should be the source of governing power. From this premise, he goes on to consider issues of liberty and justice, arriving at a view of society that has seemed to some a blueprint for totalitarianism, to others a declaration of democratic principles.

Product details

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780141191751
  • Size: 129 x 198mm
  • Pages: 400
  • Published: 04 Oct 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics
Back to top