Social Contract

Audio Sample

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The Social Contract

Read by Neville Jason


In The Social Contract, Rousseau explores the concept of freedom and the political structures that may enable people to acquire it. He argues that the sovereign power of a state lies not in any one ruler, but in the will of the general population. Rousseau argues that the ideal state would be a direct democracy where executive decision-making is carried out by citizens who meet in assembly, as they would in the ancient city-state of Athens. The thoughts contained in the work were instrumental to the advent of the American Revolution and became sacred to those leading the French Revolution. With traces of Aristotle and echoes of Plato’s Republic, The Social Contract is an exhilarating look at society and the definition of democracy.

  • 5 CDs

    Running Time: 6 h 17 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-84379-903-0
    Cat. no.:NA0204
    Download size:96 MB
    Released:April 2015
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Rousseau’s classic work on political organisation, with prescient discussions of the corruption of democracies, is narrated by Neville Jason in a style that is elevated but not stiff, conversational but proper. His interpretation lends appropriate emphasis and weight to words and sentences, and his understanding of the text helps the listener’s understanding. For the most part, he keeps to a pace that allows listeners to follow without strain – though philosophy by audio may call for frequent pauses to think through the argument. Jason keeps his skill and any effort invisible; we’re presented with the book as an engaging argument from an intelligent thinker, and never distracted by the narrator.

W.M., AudioFile

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