Written by Thomas Hobbes and first published in 1651, Leviathan is widely considered the greatest work of political philosophy ever composed in the English language. Hobbes's central argument-that human beings are first and foremost concerned with their own fears and desires, and that they must relinquish basic freedoms in order to maintain a peaceful society-has found new adherents and critics in every generation. This new edition, which uses modern text and relies on large-sheet copies from the 1651 Head version, includes interpretive essays by four leading Hobbes scholars: John Dunn, David Dyzenhaus, Elisabeth Ellis, and Bryan Garsten. Taken together with Ian Shapiro's wide-ranging introduction, they provide fresh and varied interpretations of Leviathan for our time.
Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University and Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. His many books include Democratic Justice and The Moral Foundations of Politics, both published by Yale University Press.