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As poet, statesman, and pamphleteer, John Milton remains one of the singular champions of liberty in the annals of history. Even in his mediations on theology Milton strove to demonstrate that liberty—of conscience—is one of the inviolable rights of free peoples. In his theological writings he seeks to unite ancient philosophy and the authority of the Judeo-Christian scriptures to support the concept of free, republican government. During the crises that wracked English life and liberties during the seventeenth century, Milton's was one of the indispensable voices and pens. He published several revolutionary manifestos, two works defending regicide, and of course the famous Areopagitica, or defense of freedom of expression and the press against censorship. John Alvis has collected into a superb one-volume edition all of Milton's political writings of enduring importance. These include the entirety of Areopagitica, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, A Defence of the People of England, The Second Defence of the People of England, The Readie and Easie Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, and Mr. John Milton's Character of the Long Parliament.
John Milton (16081674) was the author also of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained and served as Latin secretary to Oliver Cromwell during the Commonwealth.
John Alvis is Professor of English and Director of the American Studies Program at the University of Dallas.