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Description of Montesquieu’s Science of Politics

This is the first volume of English-language essays dedicated to exploring the full extent of the contributions of Montesquieu to social, political, and economic science with special emphasis on the key themes and findings of his epic book The Spirit of Laws (1748).The American, Canadian, British, and French contributors are David W. Carrithers, C.P. Courtney, Paul A. Rahe, Michael A. Mosher, Sharon Krause, Rebecca E. Kingston, Catherine Larrère, and Iris Cox.

Critical Appraisals of Montesquieu’s Science of Politics

“This notable volume, explicitly and its quality, stands as an encomium to the monumental significance of Montesquieu’s work.  From the very outset in the editorial introduction by David Carrithers, the achievement of Montesquieu, the sovereign importance of discerning his decisive meaning, and his crucial emphasis on moderation in all things pertinent to human affairs is impressed on the reader with great cogency.  This volume will educate the novice and will be valued by the learned.” 

Joseph Cropsey, University of Chicago

“For over two centuries Montesquieu has been viewed as an indecipherable genius—a great analyst of political facts who rarely gave away his own values. But in this lucid and intelligent set of essays, readers will find a different Montesquieu. Here the author of The Spirit of the Laws appears in all his colors as the most important expositor, in his time and ours, of a liberal science of politics.”

Daniel Gordon, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

“Montesquieu’s chief work is universally admired but less well understood.  Over the years Montesquieu has been all things to all people, a constitutional monarchist, a liberal Anglophile, an enlightened cosmopolitan, a scientific sociologist. This collection will aid our understanding of the generosity and esprit of the author of The Spirit of Laws.”

Seven B. Smith, Yale University

 

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