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About the Writer
* Biography
* Interview
* Good to Know
If You Like Leo Damrosch
You'll Like...
*On the Social Contract
by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
*A Discourse on Inequality
by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
*Rousseau: A Very Short Introduction
by Robert Wokler
Meet the Writers

Image of 
									Leo DamroschLeo Damrosch
The Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature at Harvard University, Leo Damrosch has illuminated the lives and writings of figures from Samuel Johnson to Alexander Pope in his scholarly works. But it was his longtime fascination with an infamous Swiss philosopher that resulted in the National Book Award-nominated masterpiece, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius.

* Read the interview

Fact File

Leo Damrosch
Also Known As:
Leopold Damrosch, Jr.
Current Home:
Newton, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
September 14, 1941
Place of Birth:
Manila, Philippines
B.A., Yale University, 1963; M.A. Cambridge University, 1966; Ph.D., Princeton University, 1968

2005 National Book Award Finalist

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius, Author: 
								Leo Damrosch.

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius
by Leo Damrosch
"Witty, pungent, and erudite, Leo Damrosch’s Rousseau renders one of the most canonical figures in Western literary and political thought into a full-bodied human, flawed, glorious, searching, and bold," note the National Book Award judges. "Damrosch gives to our times a vital and searing biography of the eighteenth-century founder of autobiography, the author of The Social Contract, and a complicated man whose daring, passionate ideas confound, please, and vex us still."

In the Works

"Having just finished a ten-year commitment to Rousseau, I’m 'in between,' " Damrosch explained when we asked him what projects are up next. "I have some thoughts of developing a book that would grow from my family’s experiences in the Philippines, where my father was a missionary and where my earliest years were spent in a Japanese internment camp from which we were lucky to emerge alive."

Reading Recommendations

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								A Short History of Nearly Everything, Author: 
								Bill Bryson.

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A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson
"I enjoy books that make science exciting and accessible," Damrosch explained when we asked him to tell us about some of his favorite books. He recommends Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, which, he says, "shows how often the great breakthroughs in science were scoffed at by the experts of the day."

*Read an excerpt
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Author: 
								Jared Diamond.

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Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond
Damrosch also recommends Jared Diamond's "powerful account of how geographical circumstances and the availability of certain plants and animals had everything to do with where and why civilization developed." Read our interview with Damrosch to learn about more of his best-loved books, including:

*The Red and the Black  by Stendhal
*Remembrance of Things Past   by Marcel Proust
*Tom Jones  by Henry Fielding
*The Peloponnesian War  by Thucydides
*Read the interview
Photo by David Carmak