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Download On the Social Contract Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample On the Social Contract Audiobook, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (12,353 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jean-Jacques Rousseau Narrator: Erik Sandvold Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9781455195824
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“Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” Thus begins Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s influential 1762 work, On the Social Contract, a milestone of political science and essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and social science. A progressive work, it inspired worldwide political reforms, most notably the American and French Revolutions, because it argued that monarchs were not divinely empowered to legislate. Rousseau asserts that only the people, in the form of the sovereign, have that all-powerful right. On the Social Contract’s appeal and influence has been wide-ranging and continuous. It has been called an encomium to democracy and, at the same time, a blueprint for totalitarianism. Individualists, collectivists, anarchists, and socialists have all taken courage from Rousseau’s controversial masterpiece.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justin | 1/29/2014

    " I cant say i felt really strongly either way with this one, some of it i agreed with and some i didnt agree with at all. Overall it was a good read, and i feel it is a valid theory deserving to be read and debated, just dont know how i feel about all Rousseau's conclusions. This is one that will make you think, compleatly worth giving it a look. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Imasongbyrd | 1/11/2014

    " I gave up; I couldn't understand Rousseau's concept of 'citizen' "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Han Zhicheng | 12/22/2013

    " By a skimming through of this book, I have no doubt that this is one of the ingenious books I am looking for. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jacqie | 11/13/2013

    " I had to read this for school and it was very boring, uninteresting, and very confusing. Not something I would recommend "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eilis | 6/30/2013

    " Surprisingly I really liked this - interesting to see how far we have slipped from Rousseau's ideal in our idea of what "democracy" is! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Victoria | 6/16/2013

    " I admit I haven't read all of this. It is a good read for those interested in Political Philosophy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 4/14/2013

    " I disagree with a lot of what he says, but Rousseau is a brilliant writer and has shaped Western politics for centuries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody Curtis | 5/28/2011

    " A bit dense to read, but a fascinating look at some of the thinking that underpins the U.S. government. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erum | 5/18/2011

    " I think I'm lucky I got the chance to study this book. I liked Rousseau's ideas on freedom. But I do not really believe in his ideas on the 'General Will for All'. Not really effective for the modern societies.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mercedes | 5/15/2011

    " Read part of this as part of my Philosophy course. An interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mohammed Ali Bapir | 5/6/2011

    " It has proposed some good propositions; yet arguing that society has corrupted the individual! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bihter | 4/25/2011

    " Rousseau's candidness in the analysis of human nature does not persist fortunately in this historically very significant, though insipid work. But still, we love him, especially because he wrote about wanking and submissive fantasies in the 18th century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 4/12/2011

    " A read from my political science days...for research, as I don't agree with him very much, and I'm not too keen on his writing style. That said, it remains compelling, challenging, and a key work of the Enlightenment. It deserves to be read...but the enjoyment factor is variable.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 3/20/2011

    " Interesting read, pretty romantic notion of what is possible, I'm afraid...doesn't acknowledge social relations of power in a realistic way in my opinion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 12/7/2010

    " Pretty useless as any sort of pragmatic text -- but the writing is gorgeous! "

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About the Author
Author Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth-century Europe. His works were, and are, widely read, and he has been firmly established as a significant intellectual figure. His works and ideas influenced several noted philosophers and leaders of the French Revolution.

About the Narrator

Erik Sandvold, award-winning actor and narrator, graduated with honors from Northwestern University’s theater department. His wide-ranging résumé includes major roles with leading theater companies in Colorado; over thirty national, regional, and local television commercials; many short and feature-length films; and the narration of over five hundred books and countless magazine articles for the Library of Congress.