Leviathan

By Thomas Hobbes,

Book cover of Leviathan

Book description

'The life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short'

Written during the chaos of the English Civil War, Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan asks how, in a world of violence and horror, can we stop ourselves from descending into anarchy? Hobbes' case for a 'common-wealth' under a powerful sovereign - or…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Leviathan as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Hobbes’ attention to the meaning of words and his prose make this book well worth reading. If you find the beginning of Part I hard going, leaf through it and slow down as you come to last chapters of that first part of the book. Those and Part II are particularly engaging and make one think about the meaning of liberty, the nature of obedience, and the extent to which we are obliged to obey the state. Hobbes has interesting things to say about mercy and forgiveness, which might not be expected given the way he tends to be a caricatured. Another good…

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