736 pages, 7.78 × 5.05 × 1.28 in
February 25, 1982
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0140431950
ISBN - 13: 9780140431957
From the Publisher
A masterly analysis of how and why power must be used in a market society to preserve peace and prosperity. Written at a time of great political turmoil in England, it has profoundly influenced political thought over the centuries.
From the Jacket
Its appeal to the twentieth century lies not just in its elevation of politics to a science, but in its overriding concern for peace. Its argument that the state of nature, in which life is 'nasty, brutish and short (and patriarchal), is important, but so too is its systematic analysis of power, and its convincing apologia for the then emergent market society in which we still live.
About the Author
Thomas Hobbes was born in Malmesbury, the son of a wayward country vicar. He was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and was supported during his long life by the wealthy Cavendish family, the Earls of Devonshire. Traveling widely, he met many of the leading intellectuals of the day, including Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, and Rene Descartes. As a philosopher and political theorist, Hobbes established---along with, but independently of, Descartes---early modern modes of thought in reaction to the scholasticism that characterized the seventeenth century. Because of his ideas, he was constantly in dispute with scientists and theologians, and many of his works were banned. His writings on psychology raised the possibility (later realized) that psychology could become a natural science, but his theory of politics is his most enduring achievement. In brief, his theory states that the problem of establishing order in society requires a sovereign to whom people owe loyalty and who in turn has duties toward his or her subjects. His prose masterpiece Leviathan (1651) is regarded as a major contribution to the theory of the state.
From Our Editors
When Thomas Hobbes wrote this treatise on the importance of power in a market society, things looked a lot different. Incredibly, though, things developed in much the same way he predicted. This is mostly due to the influence Leviathan has had across the world and throughout history. Leaders have turned to the classic text for advice and practical information on forming governments. In fact, readers should recognize parts of the American Constitution within the pages of this book. More than a slice of history, this text is in fact a partial blueprint to the society in which we live.