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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,308 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Locke Narrator: Craig Deitschmann Publisher: Knowledge Products Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Giants of Political Thought Series Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9781455184682
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Two Treatises of Government is the most famous and influential defense of limited government ever published. Written during a period of increasing opposition to the restored English monarchy, this work was published anonymously in 1689. It is a classic account of natural rights, social contract, government by consent, and the right of revolution.

This presentation discusses the life of John Locke, the evolution of his ideas, and the political conflicts in seventeenth-century England which led to the writing of Two Treatises of Government. The famous Second Treatise, which contains Locke’s central ideas on rights, government, and revolution, is examined in detail. Special attention is given to Locke’s theory of private property, which has influenced law and government for over two centuries.

The Giants of Political Thought series is an easy and entertaining way to broaden your mind and your awareness of great ideas.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Brimmer | 2/20/2014

    " Connect the dots and you are here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 2/11/2014

    " John Locke has an admirable way with snark. This was my first time reading the First Treatise, and I really did enjoy how diligently he took about Filmer's arguments, and how sarcastic the man was. The Second Treatise was more familiar turf, and perhaps less interesting because of it - but for setting the stage for the ways in which gender and civic identity would be the foundation of the United States at its inception, it's a beautiful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Rivera | 2/3/2014

    " One of the most important in influential thinkers which has helped foster both the founding of the United States and modern libertarianism. There are many places to begin for such students, and Locke is among the best of places to begin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig J. | 1/30/2014

    " Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (1988) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 1/16/2014

    " Even though Locke was probably not a Christian, I find his contributions to political theory quite valuable. I tend to agree with Locke more than with other political philosophers, though I would not agree with him as much now as I would have done in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 1/13/2014

    " Yeah if you are an American of voting age and haven't read this... you should be deported. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shiloh Logan | 1/12/2014

    " Locke is a timeless classic, whether regarding his politics or his metaphysics/epistemology in "Essays of Human Understanding". Whether a philosopher or not, the Two Treatises of Government is written plainly enough that anyone can understand it. It is a must read for anyone studying early American political thought (e.g. pamphlet making, Declaration of Independence, etc.). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J. Alfred | 12/27/2013

    " Well, grad school is either going to educate me or kill me, I guess. Also, is it just me or was everyone in the seventeeth century wildly brilliant? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlotte | 12/25/2013

    " This book made going to college worth it. I love John Locke. I love the Second Treatise. Political philosophy makes me swoon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Risa | 12/1/2013

    " Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (1988) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L J | 11/5/2013

    " I don't remember reading this as a kid. Very interesting insight into our political design (especially the second treatise). You have to keep reminding yourself that this was pre-Jefferson writting. But, you can sure see Locke's hand in our founding documents. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosie | 10/30/2013

    " A wily fellow. All this talk of lyons and state of nature as mischievously different state of war. While I can't say I enjoyed the first treatise too much, this second one certainly seems to be onto something. Lovely and Monstrously devious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 10/28/2013

    " Of all the political philosophers who influenced the American founding, this one is my favorite for its clear construction of argument, witty commentary, and enduring value to American government. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 10/17/2013

    " Incredible picture of government and what it looks like. While reading the second Treatise I was inspired to create a family government in our home. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L J | 9/27/2013

    " I don't remember reading this as a kid. Very interesting insight into our political design (especially the second treatise). You have to keep reminding yourself that this was pre-Jefferson writting. But, you can sure see Locke's hand in our founding documents. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 9/4/2013

    " A classic. This is a must read for anyone interested in a libertarian form of limited government. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 T | 8/11/2013

    " Brilliant Ideas! It can helpt us form a government for the new nation! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toby Stoops | 6/27/2013

    " My favorite writer on theory of government. Even Jefferson ripped him off "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricrk patrick | 4/29/2013

    " Can find many words and phrases of the declaration of independence in this work. He clearly was very influencial on the founding fathers of the USA. Language is old style but readable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 4/13/2013

    " Even though Locke was probably not a Christian, I find his contributions to political theory quite valuable. I tend to agree with Locke more than with other political philosophers, though I would not agree with him as much now as I would have done in high school. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Carpenter | 4/12/2013

    " This is pretty good as far as writing goes, but the foundation of his theory is faulty. No one can deny that it is one of the most important books in shaping of American history, but its premises leave something to be desired. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig J. | 2/28/2013

    " Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (1988) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Risa | 2/19/2013

    " Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (1988) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evilash89 | 7/5/2012

    " Locke sets a good standard for political theory in regards to what and how to enforce the nature of a social contract. He makes some very forceful arguments but lacks the zeal or conviction of someone such as Thomas Paine. Still really great read and worth the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bima Manggala putra | 4/9/2012

    " been dead for centuries, still teach me something "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evilash89 | 9/23/2011

    " Locke sets a good standard for political theory in regards to what and how to enforce the nature of a social contract. He makes some very forceful arguments but lacks the zeal or conviction of someone such as Thomas Paine. Still really great read and worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Brimmer | 6/30/2011

    " Connect the dots and you are here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maeve ~Bad Wolf~ | 5/3/2011

    " I really admire the ideas of John Locke. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jordan | 4/6/2011

    " Extremely disturbing Imperialist, racist propoganda- With a number of sections written to support the genocide of american indians, this piece made my skin crawl- especially because it essentially IS the american constitution "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Damian | 3/14/2011

    " Nice stuff in this but built on mealy mouthed xtian premises. Hobbes, not so nice stuff, but far more convincingly argued. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jed | 1/20/2011

    " Well, grad school is either going to educate me or kill me, I guess. Also, is it just me or was everyone in the seventeeth century wildly brilliant? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 9/22/2010

    " A classic. This is a must read for anyone interested in a libertarian form of limited government. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricrk | 7/24/2010

    " Can find many words and phrases of the declaration of independence in this work. He clearly was very influencial on the founding fathers of the USA. Language is old style but readable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 eesenor | 7/19/2010

    " Locke advances a contractual political theory that was very influential on the formulators of the American system of government. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackson | 6/26/2010

    " A good response to an interesting issue. Locke is cogent and articulate, as well as a pleasure to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rusty | 5/27/2009

    " I had always wanted to read this and finally did. Understanding Locke is essential to understanding the ideas of the Founding Fathers. The Second is the more important of the treatises and clarifies what Jefferson was thinking as he wrote the Declaration of Independence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maeve ~Bad Wolf~ | 4/19/2008

    " I really admire the ideas of John Locke. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jordan | 4/12/2008

    " It is depressing to consider that Fuller really required this thorough of a rebuttal. But once Locke moved past academia-snark he was more insightful and compelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Larry Fenn | 2/12/2007

    " pursuit of PROPERTY, not happiness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 T | 9/20/2006

    " Brilliant Ideas! It can helpt us form a government for the new nation! "

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About the Author
Author John Locke

John Locke, FRS (1632–1704) was an influential English philosopher and physician widely known as the father of classical liberalism. The son of an attorney in a middle-class family, Locke attended Oxford and studied medicine. The first earl of Shaftesbury introduced Locke to the world of politics, and early in their association, Locke served as secretary of the Board of Trade and Plantations and secretary to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas. In 1696, Locke was made Commissioner of Trade, a position he held for several years. His most well-known works include Two Treatises on Government (1689) and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690).