The Solitary Self: Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Exile and Adversity

Overview


A monumental achievement, Maurice Cranston's trilogy provides the definitive account of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's turbulent life. Now available in paperback, this final volume completes a masterful biography of one of the most important philosophers of all time. The Solitary Self traces the last tempestuous years of Rousseau's life.

"The Solitary Self is a fitting coda to a magisterial work. Cranston . . . is a compelling stylist who narrates Rousseau's tribulations with a ...

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Overview


A monumental achievement, Maurice Cranston's trilogy provides the definitive account of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's turbulent life. Now available in paperback, this final volume completes a masterful biography of one of the most important philosophers of all time. The Solitary Self traces the last tempestuous years of Rousseau's life.

"The Solitary Self is a fitting coda to a magisterial work. Cranston . . . is a compelling stylist who narrates Rousseau's tribulations with a mixture of compassion and dry humor."—Thomas Pavel, Wall Street Journal

"Cranston not only recreates for his readers a rounded view of Rousseau himself, he sets it firmly in the social and political context of Europe's ancien regime. . . . An engrossing work of history."—John Gray, New Statesman

"Cranston's painstaking archival research and lucid style yield the most detailed and thoroughly documented biography of Rousseau written in English. His epilogue masterfully sums up Rousseau's importance as political philosopher and initiator of romantic sensibilities."—Choice

"Anyone curious about the paradoxes of a most paradoxical man will not go wrong by starting with this invaluable biography."—James Miller, Washington Post Book World

"As absorbing as a picaresque novel."—Naomi Bliven, New Yorker

"A monument of scholarship. . . . This amazing biography, like Boswell's account of Johnson, recreates the daily life of Rousseau: what he did, who he saw, what he said, what he wrote. . . . We may be quite confident that we hold in our hands the authoritative account of this life. The definitive Rousseau."—Isaac Kramnick, New Republic

Maurice Cranston (1920-1993), a distinguished scholar and recipient of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his biography of John Locke, was professor of political science at the London School of Economics. His numerous books include The Romantic Movement and Philosophers and Pamphleteers, and translations of Rousseau's The Social Contract and Discourse on the Origins of Inequality.

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Editorial Reviews

Hampson
What Cranston has done is not so much to set the record straight as to tell us what the record is.
Times Literary Supplement
Gray
Cranston not only recreates for his readers a rounded view of Rousseau himself, he sets it firmly in the social and political context of Europe's ancien régime. The result is an engrossing work of history.
New Statesman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226118666
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 267
  • Sales rank: 1,010,967
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents


List of Plates
Foreword
Introduction
1. A Mixed Welcome
2. Môtiers
3. A Gospel Christian
4. The Tocsin of Sedition
5. 'Marmot' and 'Bear'
6. The Lapidation
7. A Celebrity Acclaimed
8. Reversal of Fortune
Epilogue: Rousseau Then and Now
Chronology of Rousseau's Life and Work
List of Principal Abbreviations Used in the Notes
Notes
Index
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