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17th & 18th Century History

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  1. A Debate on Jewish Emancipation and Christian Theology in Old Berlin

    David Friedländer, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Abraham Teller
    Edited and Translated by Richard Crouter and Julie Klassen

    A Debate on Jewish Emancipation and Christian Theology in Old Berlin

    "One of the most fascinating and, indeed, seminal debates in the protracted struggle of German Jewry to gain full citizenship and civic equality. As the translators make clear in their learned and generally lucid Introduction, this debate illuminates the enduring difficulty of modern nation states to establish a civic society that is, if not religiously neutral, at least inclusive. . . . It will surely enter the canon of standard works in the study of modern Jewish history."
         —Paul Mendes-Flohr, Hebrew University

  2. A Letter Concerning Toleration

    John Locke
    Edited by James H. Tully

    A Letter Concerning Toleration

    John Locke's subtle and influential defense of religious toleration as argued in his seminal Letter Concerning Toleration (1685) appears in this edition as introduced by one of our most distinguished political theorists and historians of political thought.

  3. Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline

    Translated by David Lowenthal

    Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline

    “It is wonderful to have David Lowenthal’s splendid translation of Montesquieu’s Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline back in print. This neglected masterpiece deserves attention from all who are concerned with self-government—whether their focus is on history or on its prospects in our own time.”
         —Paul A. Rahe, University of Tulsa

  4. Democracy in America

    Alexis De Tocqueville
    Abridged, with Introduction, by Sanford Kessler
    Translated and Annotated by Stephen D. Grant

    Democracy in America

    "A handy paperback edition offered primarily to teachers and students who can make no pretense of reading the entirety of the large work, but who want to sample some of its chief delights. . . . [Grant gives us an] exemplary translation . . . marked above all by great accuracy and fidelity to Tocqueville’s text. . . . Kessler’s editor’s Introduction is a model introduction to a classic text for today’s students. It is clearly written, compact (without being too short or dense), and nicely structured. . . . A tour—and translation—well worth the price of admission." —Paul Seaton, Perspectives on Political Science

  5. Discourse on Method (Cress, Third Edition)

    René Descartes
    Translated by Donald A. Cress

    Discourse on Method (Cress, Third Edition)

    By far the most widely used translation in North American college classrooms, Donald A. Cress's translation from the French of the Adam and Tannery critical edition is prized for its accuracy, elegance, and economy. The translation featured in the Third Edition has been thoroughly revised from the 1979 First Edition and includes page references to the critical edition for ease of comparison.

  6. Discourse on Method (Kennington Edition)

    René Descartes
    Translated by Richard Kennington; Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by Pamela Kraus and Frank Hunt

    Discourse on Method (Kennington Edition)

    This Focus Philosophical Library edition includes a new translation of Descartes' seminal discourse, with an original essay by Richard Kennington. This text is designed to provide the student with a close translation, notes, and a glossary of key terms, facilitating access to ideas as they originally were presented and helping to make the translator's work transparent. 

  7. Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy (Fourth Edition)

    René Descartes
    Translated by Donald A. Cress

    Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy (Fourth Edition)

    This edition contains Donald Cress's completely revised translation of the Meditations (from the corrected Latin edition) and recent corrections to Discourse on Method, bringing this version even closer to Descartes's original, while maintaining the clear and accessible style of a classic teaching edition.

  8. Discourse on Method, Optics, Geometry, and Meteorology

    René Descartes
    Translated, with Introduction, by Paul J. Olscamp

    Discourse on Method, Optics, Geometry, and Meteorology

    This volume preserves the format in which Discourse on Method was originally published: as a preface to Descartes’s writings on optics, geometry, and meteorology. In his introduction, Olscamp discusses the value of reading the Discourse alongside these three works, which sheds new light on Descartes’s method. Includes an updated bibliography.

  9. Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Translated by Donald A. Cress
    Introduction by James Miller

    Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

    Donald Cress’s highly regarded translation, based on the critical Pléiade edition of 1964, is here issued with a lively introduction by James Miller, who brings into sharp focus the cultural and intellectual milieu in which Rousseau operated. This new edition includes a select bibliography, a note on the text, a translator’s note, and Rousseau’s own Notes on the Discourse.

  10. Divine Right and Democracy

    Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by David Wootton

    Divine Right and Democracy

    David Wootton’s masterly compilation of speeches, essays, and fiercely polemical pamphlets—organized into chapters focusing on the main debates of the century—represents the first attempt to present in one volume a broad collection of Stuart political thought. In bringing together abstract theorizing and impassioned calls to arms, anonymous tract writers and King James I, Wootton has produced a much-needed collection; in combination with the editor’s thoughtful running commentary and invaluable Introduction, its texts bring to life a crucial period in the formation of our modern liberal and conservative theories.

  11. Enlightenment Thought

    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Margaret L. King

    Enlightenment Thought

    Forthcoming - March 2019

    "Margaret L. King has put together a highly representative selection of readings from most of the more significant—but by no means the most obvious—texts by the authors who made up the movement we have come to call the 'Enlightenment.' They range across much of Europe and the Americas, and from the early seventeenth century until the end of the eighteenth. In the originality of the choice of texts, in its range and depth, this collection offers both wide coverage and striking insights into the intellectual transformation which has done more than any other to shape the world in which we live today. It is simply the best introduction to the subject now available." —Anthony Pagden, UCLA, and author of The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters

  12. Locke: The Political Writings

    John Locke
    Edited, with Introduction, by David Wootton

    Locke: The Political Writings

    This comprehensive collection brings together the main published works (excluding polemical attacks on other people’s views) with the most important surviving evidence from among Locke’s papers relating to his political philosophy. David Wootton’s wide-ranging and scholarly Introduction sets the writings in the context of their time, examines Locke’s developing ideas and unorthodox Christianity, and analyzes his main arguments. The result is the first fully rounded picture of Locke’s political thought in his own words.

  13. Meditations on First Philosophy (Third Edition)

    René Descartes
    Translated by Donald A. Cress

    Meditations on First Philosophy (Third Edition)

    "The new version of Cress's translation of Descartes's Meditations has attained an unusually high degree of readability . . . and at the same time, of fidelity to the original."
        —Roger Ariew, University of South Florida, and Marjorie Grene (1910-2009), Virginia Polytechnic Institute

  14. Modern Political Thought (Second Edition)

    Edited, with Introductions, by David Wootton

    Modern Political Thought (Second Edition)

    The second edition of David Wootton's Modern Political Thought: Readings from Machiavelli to Nietzsche offers a new unit on modern constitutionalism with selections from Hume, Montesquieu, the Federalist, and Constant. In addition to a new essay by Wootton, this unit features his new translation of Constant's 1819 essay "On Ancient and Modern Liberty". Other changes include expanded selections from Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy and a new Hegel selection, all of which strengthen an already excellent anthology.

  15. Montesquieu: Selected Political Writings

    Translated and Edited by Melvin Richter

    Montesquieu: Selected Political Writings

    “Professor Richter has long been one of our most knowledgeable commentators on the French intellectual tradition. Having written on Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Durkheim, he is well positioned to provide us not only with an historically informed translation of Montesquieu’s major writings, but also with an excellent introduction to what is important about Montesquieu as a thinker.”
         —Lawrence Dickey, University of Wisconsin

  16. On Crimes and Punishments

    Translated, with Notes & Introduction, by David Young

    On Crimes and Punishments

    Includes a translator’s preface, note on the text, and suggestions for further reading.

  17. On the Social Contract

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Translated by Donald A. Cress

    On the Social Contract

    A new edition of On the Social Contract will be released in March 2019, click here for more information about the forthcoming 2nd edition.

    Contents include a note on the translation, introduction by Peter Gay, and a bibliography.

  18. Persian Letters (MacKenzie Edition)

    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Raymond N. MacKenzie

    Persian Letters (MacKenzie Edition)

    "An excellent edition that will give students a clean, well-translated text without too much clutter. The introduction is magisterial."
        —Srinivas Aravamudan, Duke University

    With skill and artistry, Raymond MacKenzie’s stunning new translation accurately reflects the mood and character of the work. In his richly conceived Introduction, MacKenzie seamlessly weaves together an overview of the period with details of Montesquieu’s life, including the influences that inspired the Persian Letters, the character and power of the book, and its reception.

    This edition also includes a Calendar of the Persian Letters, a Bibliography of Works in English, and a Bibliography of Works in French. Related texts provide insight into the legacy of the Persian Letters. They include selections from works by George Lyttelton, Voltaire, Oliver Goldsmith, and Maria Edgeworth.

  19. Philosophical Essays and Correspondence

    René Descartes
    Edited, with Introduction, by Roger Ariew

    Philosophical Essays and Correspondence

    A superb text for teaching the philosophy of Descartes, this volume includes all his major works in their entirety, important selections from his lesser known writings, and key selections from his philosophical correspondence. The result is an anthology that enables the reader to understand the development of Descartes’s thought over his lifetime. Includes a biographical Introduction, chronology, bibliography, and index.

  20. Philosophical Letters

    Edited, with Introduction, by John Leigh
    Translated by Prudence L. Steiner

    Philosophical Letters

    “This fluid new translation, with abundant explanatory notes and an insightful Introduction to Voltaire’s literary strategies, will make an excellent edition for students, as well as a useful resource for scholars.”
         —Ann Blair, Harvard University

  21. Reflections on the Revolution in France

    Edmund Burke
    Edited by J. G. A. Pocock

    Reflections on the Revolution in France

    “Pocock is, without question, the leading historian of eighteenth-century British-American political thought. . . . All of his skills are brilliantly employed in the Introduction. . . . In addition to being the best treatment of Burke’s thought in context, it is . . . the best and most concentrated presentation of Pocock’s own view of the main contours of eighteenth-century political thought. . . . Finally, the Reflections and other texts by Burke are then woven into this rich fabric, thus providing the reader with an understanding of Burke’s thought which is deeper and more complex (and surely more historically sensitive) than any available in the secondary literature.”
        —James Tully, McGill University

  22. Rousseau: The Basic Political Writings (Second Edition)

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Translated and Edited by Donald A. Cress
    Introduction and Annotation by David Wootton

    Rousseau: The Basic Political Writings (Second Edition)

    This substantially revised new edition of Rousseau: The Basic Political Writings features a brilliant new Introduction by David Wootton, a revision by Donald A. Cress of his own 1987 translation of Rousseau’s most important political writings, and the addition of Cress’ new translation of Rousseau's State of  War. New footnotes, headnotes, and a chronology by David Wootton provide expert guidance to first-time readers of the texts.

  23. Second Treatise of Government

    John Locke
    Edited by C. B. Macpherson

    Second Treatise of Government

    The Second Treatise is one of the most important political treatises ever written and one of the most far-reaching in its influence.

    In his provocative 15-page introduction to this edition, the late eminent political theorist C. B. Macpherson examines Locke's arguments for limited, conditional government, private property, and right of revolution and suggests reasons for the appeal of these arguments in Locke's time and since.

    "Macpherson provides for his readers a tightly written, meaty, and often invigorating critical assessment of Locke's argument.  In it one finds some of the best of Macpherson's now famous criticism of liberal-democratic government."
        —Gregory E. Pyrcz in Canadian Philosophical Review

  24. Some Thoughts Concerning Education and of the Conduct of the Understanding

    John Locke
    Edited, with Introduction, by Ruth W. Grant and Nathan Tarcov

    Some Thoughts Concerning Education and of the Conduct of the Understanding

    This volume offers two complementary works, unabridged, in modernized, annotated texts—the only available edition priced for classroom use. Grant and Tarcov provide a concise introduction, a note on the texts, and a select bibliography.

  25. Spinoza: The Complete Works

    Baruch Spinoza
    Edited, with Introductions, by Michael L. Morgan
    Translated by Samuel Shirley

    Spinoza: The Complete Works

    "This elegant volume has been produced to a very high standard, is easy to handle, affordably priced, and, most importantly, renders Spinoza accurately into clear and graceful English. It will undoubtedly become an indispensable tool for all serious readers of Spinoza. . . . The supporting editorial material of this volume—the work of Michael L. Morgan—is . . . judicious and reliable. His eight-page Introduction offers a succinct interpretive overview of Spinoza’s system that will be thought-provoking for specialists, while also basic enough to be accessible to novice Spinozists. Morgan also provides a very useful chronology of Spinoza’s life, a brief introduction to each work, and a light apparatus of footnotes."
          —Adam Sutcliffe, The Jewish Quarterly Review

  26. The American Debate over Slavery, 1760–1865

    Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by Howard L. Lubert, Kevin R. Hardwick, and Scott J. Hammond

    The American Debate over Slavery, 1760–1865

    "The American Debate over Slavery, 1760–1865 will be a superb resource for teachers and students of early American history. Editors Lubert, Hardwick, and Hammond have carefully assembled and introduced a rich collection of significant documents that bring the slavery debate into sharp and illuminating focus. This is easily the best book in its field." —Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello)

  27. The Breakdown of Cartesian Metaphysics

    Richard A. Watson

    The Breakdown of Cartesian Metaphysics

    “Original and stimulating. . . . The four new chapters deserve close attention. . . . Readers will await further studies by Richard A. Watson all the more impatiently.”
        —Jean-Luc Marion, Archives de Philosophie

  28. The East India Company, 1600–1858

    Ian Barrow

    The East India Company, 1600–1858

    Series: Passages: Key Moments in History

    "Ian Barrow has written a concise yet engaging, rich, and detailed history of the East India Company—its rise to power, evolution, and eventual demise. This book will be read with great interest by students as well as those general readers seeking a better knowledge of the world's first multi-national corporation and its important influence in the creation of the modern South Asian world."  —Michael Dodson, Indiana University Bloomington

  29. The Fable of the Bees and Other Writings

    Bernard Mandeville
    Edited, with Introduction, by E. J. Hundert

    The Fable of the Bees and Other Writings

    “Hundert is especially good at demonstrating how vital Mandeville’s ideas are as a major foundation for more famous Enlightenment thinkers such as Rousseau, Diderot, Voltaire and others. . . . The additions of Nicole and Bayle will be useful in courses on 18th century ethics and morals, and in general surveys of Enlightenment thought. This is probably the best one-volume edition of the main works of Mandeville now available.”
         —Irwin Primer, Rutgers University

  30. The Government of Poland

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Translated by Willmoore Kendall

    The Government of Poland

    "The Government of Poland is the only finished work in which Rousseau himself dons the mantle of legislator, applying the principles of the Social Contract to the real world around him. Poland teaches us much about the mysterious art of the Social Contract's 'legislator,' how he transforms each individual into part of a larger whole. Only in . . . Poland do we find what this crucial transformation entails and what it presupposes. But probably the greatest lesson to be learned from . . . Poland concerns Rousseau's understanding of the proper relationship between theory and practice. . . . Time and again we see Rousseau advising the Poles to do things which are in gross violation of the strict principles of political right he had elaborated in the Social Contract."
         —Richard Myers in Canadian Journal of Political Science

  31. The High Road to Pyrrhonism
  32. The Persian Letters (Healy Edition)

    Translated, with Introduction, by George R. Healy

    The Persian Letters (Healy Edition)

    Based on the 1758 edition, this translation strives for fidelity and retains Montesquieu’s paragraphing. George R. Healy’s Introduction discusses The Persian Letters as a kind of overture to the Enlightenment, a work of remarkable diversity designed more to explore a problem of great urgency for eighteenth century thought than to resolve it: that of discovering universals, or at least the pragmatic constants, amid the diversity of human culture and society, and of confronting the proposition that there are no values in human relationships except those imposed by force or agreed upon in self-interested conventions.

  33. The Scientific Background to Modern Philosophy

    Edited, with Introduction, by Michael R. Matthews

    The Scientific Background to Modern Philosophy

    "Students will find it approachable and accessible, and they will have at their fingertips a good deal of material for discussion of theories of matter and method in seventeenth-century science.”
         —Catherine Wilson, in Canadian Philosophical Review

  34. Treatise on Slavery: Selections from De Instauranda Aethiopum Salute

    Alonso de Sandoval
    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Nicole von Germeten

    Treatise on Slavery: Selections from De Instauranda Aethiopum Salute

    "Not only are the translations very well done; Von Germeten's notes and annotations are excellent, demonstrating a real sensibility for the African backgrounds of those to whom Sandoval ministered. . . she does a very fine job of addressing African histories and raising questions that emanate out of Africa, rather than seeing the enslaved simply as incipient Americans. Strongly recommended for Colonial Latin American surveys as well as for Atlantic History and African Diapora courses."
         —James Sweet, Department of History, University of Wisconsin

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