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The Routledge Guides to the Great Books


About the Series

The Routledge Guides to the Great Books provide ideal introductions to the texts which have shaped Western Civilization. The Guidebooks explore the arguments and ideas contained in the most influential works from some of the most brilliant thinkers who have ever lived, from Aristotle to Marx and Newton to Wollstonecraft. Each Guidebook opens with a short introduction to the author of the great book and the context within which they were working and concludes with an examination of the lasting significance of the book. The Routledge Guides to the Great Books will therefore provide students everywhere with complete introductions to the most significant books of all time.

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The Routledge Guidebook to Paine's Rights of Man

The Routledge Guidebook to Paine's Rights of Man

1st Edition

Forthcoming

Frances A Chiu
April 06, 2020

Upon publication in 1791-92, the two parts of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man proved to be both immensely popular and highly controversial. An immediate bestseller, it not only defended the French revolution but also challenged current laws, customs, and government. The Routledge Guidebook to Paine’s...

The Routledge Guidebook to Smith's Wealth of Nations

The Routledge Guidebook to Smith's Wealth of Nations

1st Edition

Forthcoming

Maria Pia Paganelli
December 20, 2019

Adam Smith (1723–1790) is famous around the world as the founding father of economics, and his ideas are regularly quoted and invoked by politicians, business leaders, economists, and philosophers. However, considering his fame, few people have actually read the whole of his magnum opus The Wealth...

The Routledge Guidebook to Berkeley’s Three Dialogues

The Routledge Guidebook to Berkeley’s Three Dialogues

1st Edition

Stefan Storrie
December 20, 2018

The Routledge Guidebook to Berkeley’s Three Dialogues is an engaging introduction to the last of a trio of works that cemented Berkeley’s position as one of the truly great philosophers of the western canon. Berkeley’s distinctive idealist philosophy has been a challenge and inspiration for...

The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology

The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology

1st Edition

David E Leary
January 29, 2018

The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology is an engaging and accessible introduction to a monumental text that has influenced the development of both psychological science and philosophical pragmatism in important and lasting ways. Written for readers approaching William...

The Routledge Guidebook to The New Testament

The Routledge Guidebook to The New Testament

1st Edition

Patrick Gray
March 20, 2017

As part of the Christian canon of scripture, the New Testament is one of the most influential works in history. Its impact can be seen in many different fields, but without an awareness of the historical, cultural, social, and intellectual context of early Christianity, it can be difficult for...

The Routledge Guidebook to Foucault's The History of Sexuality

The Routledge Guidebook to Foucault's The History of Sexuality

1st Edition

Chloe Taylor
November 29, 2016

Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality is one of the most influential philosophical works of the twentieth century and has been instrumental in shaping the study of Gender, Feminist Theory and Queer Theory. But Foucault’s writing can be a difficult book to grasp as Foucault assumes a...

The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's Confessions

The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's Confessions

1st Edition

Catherine Conybeare
June 23, 2016

Augustine’s Confessions is one of the most significant works of Western culture. Cast as a long, impassioned conversation with God, it is intertwined with passages of life-narrative and with key theological and philosophical insights. It is enduringly popular, and justly so. The Routledge...

The Routledge Guidebook to Machiavelli's The Prince

The Routledge Guidebook to Machiavelli's The Prince

1st Edition

John T. Scott
April 08, 2016

Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince is one of the most influential works in the history of political thought and the adjective Machiavellian is well-known and perhaps even over-used. So why does the meaning of the text continue to be debated to the present day? And how does a contemporary reader get...

The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae

The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae

1st Edition

Jason T Eberl
November 17, 2015

The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae introduces readers to a work which represents the pinnacle of medieval Western scholarship and which has inspired numerous commentaries, imitators, and opposing views. Outlining the main arguments Aquinas utilizes to support his conclusions on...

The Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling

The Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling

1st Edition

John Lippitt
November 02, 2015

Søren Kierkegaard is one of the key figures of nineteenth century thought, whose influence on subsequent philosophy, theology and literature is both extensive and profound. Fear and Trembling, which investigates the nature of faith through an exploration of the story of Abraham and Isaac, is one of...

The Routledge Guidebook to Mill's On Liberty

The Routledge Guidebook to Mill's On Liberty

1st Edition

Jonathan Riley
July 16, 2015

John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty is widely regarded as one of the most influential and stirring pieces of political philosophy ever written. Ever relevant in our increasingly surveillance dominated culture, the essay argues strongly in favour of the moral rights of individuality, including rights of...

The Routledge Guidebook to Einstein's Relativity

The Routledge Guidebook to Einstein's Relativity

1st Edition

James Trefil
February 24, 2015

Albert Einstein, one of the most prolific scientists of the twentieth century, developed the theory of relativity which was crucial for the advancement of modern physics. Young Einstein identified a paradox between Newtonian Mechanics and Maxwell’s equations which pointed to a flawed understanding...

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