Translated by Peter Constantine
Edited and with an new introduction by Leo Damrosch
'Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains' is the dramatic opening line of The Social Contract, published in 1762. Quoted by politicians and philosophers alike, the power of this sentence continues to resonate. It laid the groundwork for both the American and French Revolutions, and is considered a foundational text in the development of the modern principles of human rights. Rousseau was an extraordinary visionary and a revolutionary thinker. The Essential Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau collects his best and most indispensable work.
The book includes: Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men and The Social Contract in full, plus selections from Émile, a treatise on education, the autobiographical Reveries of the Solitary Walker and Julie, or the New Héloïse,an epistolary novel.