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HampsonWhat Cranston has done is not so much to set the record straight as to tell us what the record is.
—Times Literary Supplement
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In 1762, with the condemnation of Émile and The Social Contract, harried by both church and state, Jean-Jacques Rousseau fled Paris, seeking refuge in Switzerland, Prussia, and England. Deemed a social outcast and beset with feelings of persecution and abuse, not wholly unwarranted, the philosopher turned in despair to the production of autobiographical works intended to reveal his essential innocence and integrity. Through this bitter introspection, Rousseau transformed his misery and solitude into some of the most enduring literature of his time.
A monumental achievement, the trilogy provides generations of readers with the definitive account of Rousseau's turbulent life. Marked by Cranston's characteristic elegance, authority, and grace, this volume, like Jean-Jacques and The Noble Savage, presents "Rousseau beautifully in the round, and leaves him just as extraordinary as ever" John Weightman, The Sunday Independent.
An acclaimed scholar and recipient of Britain's James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Maurice Cranston 1902-1995 served as Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics. Drawing upon the biographer's published and unpublished papers, Sanford Lakoff, professor emeritus of political science at the University of California-San Diego, brought the manuscript into final form.