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Publisher's Summary

Leviathan is a vigorous defense of a strong central government that was originally published in 1651, just after the English wars of 1642-49. This presentation explores the social and political turmoil during which Leviathan was written, including an examination of the radical political philosophies spawned by opposition to Stuart monarchy in England. It explains the materialistic foundation of Hobbes' philosophy and how this influenced his theory of man, society, and government. Special attention is paid to Hobbes' theory of the "state of nature", the social contract, and the governmental sovereignty. The right of resistance against unjust laws and the right to liberty of conscience also are discussed.

A comprehensive work, Leviathan discusses many areas of philosophy and religion and is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of political thought.

©1987 Carmichael & Carmichael, Inc. / Knowledge Products (P)1987 Carmichael & Carmichael, Inc. / Knowledge Products

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles E. Grant
  • 04-10-2006


This books is fine, but the title is deceptive. It is not a reading of "Leviathan", but a "Cliff Notes" type summary of "Leviathan" with illustrative quotes. It's a decent summary, but I was looking for the actual work. I suppose I should have been alerted by the brief length. Oh well, I'm better prepared now to read the real thing.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kamal
  • 07-03-2010

The best way to read leviathan

Leviathan is not the easiest book to read, especially with Thomas Hobbes particular use of the English language.
However, with this audio book, the narrators do a good Job of picking up the good bits of the book.
It is be far the best narrated book I have listened to so far. Trailing only the ScrewTape Letter narrated by John Cleese.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ruby Spinner
  • 20-03-2021

A Great Savings of Time

What is Leviathan? Mentioned in Job 41:1 Psam 104:26 and Isaiah 27:1, where, provided you use the correct textbook, is read:In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

This book is a wonderful savings of time because it is a review of Thomas Hobbes work, Leviathan. In Leviathan, Hobbes gives a nuanced, detailed explanation of government, and it is described as a leviathan, a sea dragon which cannot be caught, controlled or killed by man. I appreciate this smaller book, because when I saw Leviathan by Hobbes, I thought it was a sermon.

The narrator was very good. The author does not stint on honest review. We are told that Hobbes has written, "God was no such niggard in creation." I suspect many today would be insulted by those words, but they are a genuine expression from the time of Cromwell's England. To understand the subject, as Hobbes expected of his audience, you need to comprehend the nuances in words.

Because of this book, I can go on to another, because I don't care to read the work from Hobbes.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lily
  • 05-12-2008

Misleading title, and silly voices

For a start, I don't much like the american reading one of the greatest English writers' work, I would have appreciated an Englishman to read it, as only englishmen can actually speak english properly, with correct pronunciations. Not only this, but when there are 'direct quotes' within the audiobook, someone with a silly, fake \"ye olde\" \"English\" (i have English in quotation marks, as again, American's are unable to differentiate between an actual english accent, and what they think one is, which is always wrong.
Away from the actual voices themselves, however, the book simply does not live up to its title. It says it is an unabridged version of leviathan, which lead me to assume that it would be the whole of Hobbes' book read, with no part left out. This is not so, it is some kind of history of the English Civil War (which is only worth mentioning in the understanding of leviathan to get an idea of context). This is just so unnecessary, and so something that i bought in order to help me, has done nothing of the sort.
This did not only NOT entertain me, but it didn't help me get through all the texts on my course (i am dyslexic, and so all the help with reading i can get i take) and in fact if anything it just wasted 2hours that i could have just read some of the book itself.
This is time that i shall never get back, and i cannot even make myself feel better by knowing that i was educated by this audiobook.

4 people found this helpful

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