The Liberty Reader

The Liberty Reader David Miller (ed.)

The quest for liberty has driven political movements across the globe, inspiring revolutions in America, France, China and many other countries over the centuries. Even today, Western governments justify their military interventions in the name of promoting freedom. But what is this liberty that is so fervently pursued? Does it mean a private space for individuals, the capacity for free and rational choice, or collective self-rule? What is the difference between positive and negative liberty, or the relationship between freedom and coercion? Reflecting on these questions reveals a surprisingly rich landscape of ideas, as well as further questions.

The Liberty Reader, edited and introduced by the distinguished political philosopher Professor David Miller, collects some of the most important and insightful essays written in the past century by philosophers, political theorists and other thinkers who have reflected on the nature of liberty and how to achieve it.

The essays have been chosen to represent a wide range of political perspectives - liberal, libertarian, socialist, feminist and republican - and a carefully structured bibliography allows the reader to pursue particular topics in greater depth. It is essential reading for students of social and political theory, political philosophy, and anyone searching for a deeper understanding of the variety of ideas and visions that lie behind perennial human strivings for liberty. Features contributions from:

  • Hannah Arendt
  • Gerald C. MacCallum Jr
  • Isiah Berlin
  • David Miller/li>G. A. CohenPhilip Petit/li>T. H. GreenQuentin Skinner/li>F. H. HayekHillel Steiner/li>Nancy J. HirschmannCharles Taylor

Key Features:

  • collects 12 essential essays on liberty written during the 20th century
  • provides a range of political perspectives: liberal, libertarian, socialist, feminist and republican
  • introduction provides a comprehensive overview of the historical development of ideas about liberty
  • structured bibliography allows students to pursue topics in greater depth
  • student-friendly: essays have been chosen for their accessibility to undergraduates

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Edinburgh University Press
240 pp.

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