Liberty and Property: A Social History of Western Political Thought from the Renaissance to Enlightenment

Overview

The formation of the modern state, the rise of capitalism, the Renaissance and Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment—all these have been credited to the “early modern” period. Nearly everything about its history remains controversial, but one thing is certain: it left a rich and provocative legacy of political ideas unmatched in Western history. Ideas of liberty, equality, property, human rights and revolution born in those turbulent centuries continue to shape, and to limit, ...

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Liberty and Property: A Social History of Western Political Thought from the Renaissance to Enlightenment

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Overview

The formation of the modern state, the rise of capitalism, the Renaissance and Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment—all these have been credited to the “early modern” period. Nearly everything about its history remains controversial, but one thing is certain: it left a rich and provocative legacy of political ideas unmatched in Western history. Ideas of liberty, equality, property, human rights and revolution born in those turbulent centuries continue to shape, and to limit, political discourse today. From Machiavelli, Luther and Calvin to Spinoza, the Levellers, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, Meiksins Wood vividly explores the ideas of the canonical thinkers, not as philosophical abstractions but as passionately engaged responses to the social conflicts of their day.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“... This book is clearly written, incisively argued, and immensely informative.”—CHOICE

“a notable book, wide-ranging and perceptive ... [Wood] addresses the heartland of the historiography of political thought from Machiavelli to Rousseau, the territory of its most successful recent practitioners.”—Jonathan Clark, TLS

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844677528
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 791,501
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Meiksins Wood, for many years Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto, is the author of a number of books, including Democracy Against Capitalism and, with Verso, The Pristine Culture of Capitalism, The Origin of Capitalism, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, Citizens to Lords, and Empire of Capital.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

1 Transitions 1

2 The Renaissance City-State 33

3 The Reformation 57

4 The Spanish Empire 85

5 The Dutch Republic 109

6 French Absolutism 147

7 The English Revolution 211

8 Enlightenment or Capitalism? 289

Index 319

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