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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,037 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Aristotle Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455177400
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“How can men best live together?” Twenty-three centuries after its compilation, Politics still has much to contribute to this central question of political science. Aristotle’s thorough and carefully argued analysis covers a huge range of political issues in the effort to establish which types of constitution are best, both ideally and in particular circumstances, and how they may be maintained.

Like his predecessor, Plato, Aristotle believed that the ideal constitution should be in accordance with nature, and that it is needed by man, “a political animal,” to fulfill his potential. His premises and arguments form an essential background to the thinking of such philosophers as Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Jean Bodin, and Richard Hooker, and raise questions that are as relevant to modern society as they were to the ancient world.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 2/18/2014

    " Very interesting and very thought provoking. I feel like this is one of those books every politician should read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew | 2/10/2014

    " I really did not like having to read this book for a university course, because I disagreed with everything that wasn't too vague to disagree with. However, Aristotle is so methodical, and covers all of the bases so well, that even when I disliked what he was saying, I was thinking about politics in ways I would not have thought to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/9/2014

    " Ow, my brain. The sexism makes me splutter with rage, and I am having a very very hard time with his economics. This is what we call stubbornness, I guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Cutler | 2/8/2014

    " Often touted as the 'first political science text', this companion text to the N. Ethics describes what people want and how to give it to them as leaders. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliette Jimeno | 2/8/2014

    " Gosh... The first book of politics I wanted to wolf down at the university! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mat | 2/3/2014

    " Gary Renard's recollection of two ascended masters who appeared to him to teach him about existence through the principles of "A Course in Miracles." Regardless of whether or not you take his account as factual, this book will clear up any negative preconceptions you have with the Christian language and terms used as learning tools in "A Course in Miracles. If you've had experience with "A Course in Miracles," and couldn't get past that stigma, or if you simply could not understand what it was actually teaching, this book will help you clear up such misunderstandings so that you can begin achieving correct perception, and experience true reality beyond illusions. Or not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey M | 2/2/2014

    " Although Gary's writing style or sense of humor is not my favorite, this book definitely got me thinking! Most of what he said rang true on a spiritual level. Almost every other metaphysical book I've read and love has the same information that he has in this one book! I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bratkeeper | 1/30/2014

    " A great and goofy introduction to ACIM. I laughed out loud and couldn't put it down. It found its way into my life when I most needed it, like a best friend. I didn't buy it when I first saw it at the bookstore almost five (?) years ago now, but a few months later it came automatically when I forgot to respond to my book club choice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue Lyons rudman | 1/30/2014

    " Some call it the "canopener" to "A Course in Miracles"...a MUST READ if you ever plan on having some concept of working the ACIM in your personal life. Like the Bible and ACIM, this should probably be kept at the bedside and referred to often if you are having issues grasping ACIM practice. But certainly a must read, perhaps even before picking up the ACIM. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Care | 1/29/2014

    " be careful this book could change your life! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula Gorgas | 1/29/2014

    " This is a book to be read and re-read. I'm currently reading it for the second time, along with A COURSE IN MIRACLES. Both books are to be savored and lived. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua Guest | 1/26/2014

    " There, I did it. I decided to read it because I thought it might have applicable insight into politics in organizations on the same level of Art of War or The Prince. But no. But still, not bad, except for, you know, all the parts about the inferiority of women and slaves and the need to keep them in their place. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Salaita | 1/24/2014

    " Aristotle was a highly intelligent and compelling thinker. This is a good place to begin for those interested in learning more about Western political and cultural theory. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thing Thing | 1/21/2014

    " Revisit this book after reading Your Immortal Reality. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Renee | 1/18/2014

    " These are deep thoughts, be ready. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarita Maude | 1/18/2014

    " I found this book to be very interesting and left me wanting to investigate the author's claims and experiences. It is easy to read and thought provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rudi1234 | 1/11/2014

    " Great read about the exclusionary world we live in "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Salaita | 1/11/2014

    " Aristotle was a highly intelligent and compelling thinker. This is a good place to begin for those interested in learning more about Western political and cultural theory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Venus | 1/11/2014

    " The reason why there are many forms of government is that every state contains many elements. In the first place we see that all states are made up of families, and in the multitude of citizen there must be some rich and some poor, and some in a middle condition; the rich are heavy-armed, and the poor not. Of the common people, some are husbandmen, and some traders, and some artisans. There are also among the notables differences of wealth and property- for example, in the number of horses which they keep, for they cannot afford to keep them unless they are rich. And therefore in old times the cities whose strength lay in their cavalry were oligarchies, and they used cavalry in wars against their neighbors; as was the practice of the Eretrians and Chalcidians, and also of the Magnesians on the river Maeander, and of other peoples in Asia. Besides differences of wealth there are differences of rank and merit, and there are some other elements which were mentioned by us when in treating of aristocracy we enumerated the essentials of a state. Of these elements, sometimes all, sometimes the lesser and sometimes the greater number, have a share in the government. It is evident then that there must be many forms of government, differing in kind, since the parts of which they are composed differ from each other in kind. For a constitution is an organization of offices, which all the citizens distribute among themselves, according to the power which different classes possess, for example the rich or the poor, or according to some principle of equality which includes both. There must therefore be as many forms of government as there are modes of arranging the offices, according to the superiorities and differences of the parts of the state. There are generally thought to be two principal forms: as men say of the winds that there are but two- north and south, and that the rest of them are only variations of these, so of governments there are said to be only two forms- democracy and oligarchy. For aristocracy is considered to be a kind of oligarchy, as being the rule of a few, and the so-called constitutional government to be really a democracy, just as among the winds we make the west a variation of the north, and the east of the south wind. Similarly of musical modes there are said to be two kinds, the Dorian and the Phrygian; the other arrangements of the scale are comprehended under one or other of these two. About forms of government this is a very favorite notion. But in either case the better and more exact way is to distinguish, as I have done, the one or two which are true forms, and to regard the others as perversions, whether of the most perfectly attempered mode or of the best form of government: we may compare the severer and more overpowering modes to the oligarchical forms, and the more relaxed and gentler ones to the democratic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mischke | 1/9/2014

    " Read at St. John's College Graduate Institute "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stacey Starley | 1/9/2014

    " I think individuals that quote Aristotle should delve into his books to really understand just how out there he really was. Seeing the whole package sort of diminished some of his "insights" on humanity for me. Just my opinion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dwayne Young | 1/5/2014

    " i read it because of the name and while it was well written i jus didnt think it taught me anything other than that Aristotle was kind of a bigot, he was definitely sexist in the least "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 1/5/2014

    " Very interesting and very thought provoking. I feel like this is one of those books every politician should read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 SFC_Hadley | 12/22/2013

    " Needs updating due to the way politicians morph over the years they stay in office. Better yet. The book would be great if we passed term limits "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 12/13/2013

    " a lot to take in; some foregin concepts. i was resistant at first to it's message but came to find it makes a lot of sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shanamadele | 12/13/2013

    " I (1252a1-1260b25) III 1-5(1274b30-1278b5), III 6-12(1278b6-1288b6) IV 1(1288b10-1289a25) V 1-2(1301a19-1302b4) VII 1-7,13 (1323a14-1328a21, and 1331b23-1332b10) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randall Marsh | 12/10/2013

    " a must for any student of politics and political philosophy "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil Jenkins | 12/6/2013

    " Hard to read. Small bits of wisdom worth extracting here and there. Much preferred the Ethics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 11/25/2013

    " Friendship, justice and freedom how happiness and self-sufficiency are one "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 11/16/2013

    " a good collection of arguements "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colin Bruce Milne | 11/12/2013

    " Was a good read from my days in Major Theories of the State course in Waikato University. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craigklein | 11/1/2013

    " A fascinating dialogue between two "entities" that visit a human to help him communicate to others the miracle of Christ. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anthony | 10/16/2013

    " Mainly answering the question what is the best form of government. Aristotle believes it is a mixed constitution which serves the elites and the masses. Contains one of the first major defenses of private property. A lot easier read than Nichomachean Ethics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 9/19/2013

    " This was a really freaking cool book. I just love alternative views on spirituality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ladygwen | 9/16/2013

    " Aristotle, like Plato, had some interesting ways to run the ideal polis I wouldn't agree with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 9/9/2013

    " It doesn't get any better than this. What a miracle. I love this book. Changed my life and I even had the pleasure of meeting Gary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leiana | 8/22/2013

    " This book is fun, I'm half-way through it and feel more motivated to tackle ACIM. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabriela | 8/9/2013

    " Gary does a great work in describing what are only true function is here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 7/9/2013

    " Not sure I am ready for this book.... kinda scary "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob | 5/31/2013

    " What should the role of government be and how should it be ordered. Some answers and a lot of questions that make great food for thought. Like his Ethics, this book should form part of our educational curriculum as far as I'm concerned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 4/4/2013

    " This may not have been the translation I read. It was good, but IIRC it probably does not compare to Plato's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 2/17/2013

    " See my little review of "Nichomachean Ethics." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lin Kudla | 2/4/2013

    " Unfortunately the fourth generation translation is kind of shoddy, but for his time Ari's ideas are ideal. Of course, for the free world today, they'd be ludicrous. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dean Mathiowetz | 2/1/2013

    " One of the most important works of political philosophy, and among the most unfairly maligned in the popular imagination. Most of what you think you know about this book is wrong...and most of what you think you got out of it the first time you read it is wrong too. Bears reading and re-reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dorine | 1/22/2013

    " although somewhat christian in its outlook, still a beautiful guide towards forgiveness and peace of mind. though renard claims to have written all as he was dictated by his spirit guides, i do think some of his own opinions interfered with the message he was given every now and then "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kendall | 11/4/2012

    " I had to read a section of this for my class, i didn't read the whole thing. but what I did read made some sense to me and i almost actually enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lin Kudla | 10/14/2012

    " Unfortunately the fourth generation translation is kind of shoddy, but for his time Ari's ideas are ideal. Of course, for the free world today, they'd be ludicrous. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anna | 7/26/2012

    " Totally fabrication. I did not want to continue. Not recomemmended at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/23/2012

    " The classic political text, especially the human as the political animal argument. Very bold (and brilliant . . .besides the attempt to justify human slavery). It is fascinating to study this text as a basis for the Declaration of Independence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Spencer | 6/27/2012

    " Okay, i admit I only read the chapters one and five, but those two are part of the reason for my interest in politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin Green | 6/23/2012

    " Brutal to slog through, but you can't (and won't) understand much of western civilization's political dynamic without it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mischke | 6/9/2012

    " Read at St. John's College Graduate Institute "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 5/26/2012

    " Great door to A Course In Miracles. If you're ready for and open to a change of mind, this is a great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Minli | 5/20/2012

    " Basically a collection of notes--not a cohesive work, and therefore feels disorganized. Maybe someday I'll actually write what I learned from each book? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Fadoju | 5/14/2012

    " Life is about forgiveness. An excellent book that shed so much light on life as we know it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Cutler | 4/4/2012

    " Often touted as the 'first political science text', this companion text to the N. Ethics describes what people want and how to give it to them as leaders. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A.K. | 3/31/2012

    " Fundamental to the question of government and social contract. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ladygwen | 3/19/2012

    " Aristotle, like Plato, had some interesting ways to run the ideal polis I wouldn't agree with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dianne MacAdam | 2/17/2012

    " Wow! One of the most important books I have ever read! I recommend it to everyone looking for answers to the big questions of spirituality "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rieko | 2/13/2012

    " Oh my god! Talk about an eye-opener and mind-blower. And my life will never be the same. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 2/8/2012

    " I read this when I was 12. I found it very interesting then. Maybe I should reread it now. Hmm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irene Timm | 12/12/2011

    " audiobook: Excellent discourse on concepts from A Course in Miracles in the format of several lessons presented by two ascended masters who visit Gary over a period of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zach | 12/8/2011

    " read for class, don't remember much. a reread is in order "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie Moore | 10/17/2011

    " Will I ever understand Aristotle? Need to reread again and again and again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tracy Villeneuve | 9/2/2011

    " I agree with alot of the ideas in this book. However, I believe it is a total fabrication with reguards to the Masters who converse with the author. Do yourself a favor, and skip this book and go straight to A Course in Miracles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 SFC_Hadley | 8/15/2011

    " Needs updating due to the way politicians morph over the years they stay in office. Better yet. The book would be great if we passed term limits "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 6/30/2011

    " There is no better introductory work to The Course. I can't recommend this book highly enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 6/12/2011

    " This may not have been the translation I read. It was good, but IIRC it probably does not compare to Plato's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina Dominique | 6/9/2011

    " A really profound book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrei | 2/23/2011

    " I learned how to live the "good life," and how to build a new greek polis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 1/22/2011

    " See my little review of "Nichomachean Ethics." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregory | 1/18/2011

    " It helps to see the foundation of modern day republicans and democrats or maybe even fascists and communists. Aristotle was a bit conservative and I suppose Plato was a bit liberal - lot's of fun details about ancient customs and outlooks - nice if you like history and politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 SFC_Hadley | 12/24/2010

    " Needs updating due to the way politicians morph over the years they stay in office. Better yet. The book would be great if we passed term limits "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Moon | 12/10/2010

    " Foundation reading. Of Aristotle's works, this is the one I re-read the least often, but it's still a very important work in building an understanding of what undergirds political systems. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mischke | 9/7/2010

    " Read at St. John's College Graduate Institute "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 7/7/2010

    " Interesting read... Some day I'll get back to it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 2/13/2010

    " Read I 1-7 (1252a1-1255b40), 12-13 (1259a37-1260b25), III 1-11 (1274b30-1282b13), III 12-18 (1282b14-1288b6), IV 1-12 (1288b10-1297a13), VII 1-4 (1323a14-1326b26), 7 (1327b18-1328a21). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dwayne | 1/2/2010

    " i read it because of the name and while it was well written i jus didnt think it taught me anything other than that Aristotle was kind of a bigot, he was definitely sexist in the least "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexander | 12/11/2009

    " Yes, this can be a snooze at times. Still, Books III and IV alone merit significant interest. Moreover, knowledge of this entire work (along with the Nicomachean Ethics) is a sine qua non if one wants to understand Aristotle's political theory. "

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About the Author
Author Aristotle

Aristotle (384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, scientist, and physician. As a young man, he became a student under Plato in Athens. In 342, he became the tutor of young Alexander the Great in Macedonia. After that, Aristotle returned to Athens to establish his own school and research institute, the Lyceum. His writings have profoundly affected the whole course of philosophy, from ancient times to the present.

About the Narrator

Bernard Mayes is a teacher, administrator, corporate executive, broadcaster, actor, dramatist, and former international commentator on US culture. He is best known for his readings of historical classics.