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Leviathan or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civil The Second Treatise of Civil Government, and a Letter concerning Toleration On Liberty and Considerations on Representative Government Prophets and Peoples Politics and Morals

Nature volume 159, pages 248249 (22 February 1947) | Download Citation



THE seventeenth century, with its forcing ground of ideas during the Civil War and Commonwealth, can now, more clearly than ever, be seen as one of the decisive periods of modern history for England, and, through England, for Europe. The English Revolution, like its successors in America, France and Russia, which drew inspiration from it, has left an ineffaceable mark on world history. It is well, then, that at this time, when accusations of reaction and stagnation are in the air, we should be reminded of the pioneering work of the seventeenth century that has ensured three centuries of the steady development of what we recognize to-day as the British conception of democracy. One of the most daring and original minds of the revolutionary era was that of the philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, whose classic and long hotly debated “Leviathan” has now been re-issued for the student, with a striking introductory essay by Mr. Michael Oakeshott. It appears, properly enough, with John Locke's equally famous, and more obviously influential, “Civil Government”, edited by Mr. J. W. Gough, and with John Stuart Mill's Victorian classics, “On Liberty” and “Representative Government”, introduced by Mr. R. B. McCallum, the three volumes being the first of a new series of “Political Texts” which should win a high place in the esteem of the student of political philosophy.

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