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Cover illustration by Víctor Rodríguez, 2005 (Full Cover)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
by Matthew Josephson.
(6' by 9', Perfect Bound 552 pp) $34.95 ISBN 0-9774724-2-6
Originally published by Harcourt, Brace and Company. 1931


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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

French author and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) published The Social Contract,Discourse of Inequality, Émile and many other great works and ideas that have profoundly influenced modern education, politics and psychology theories.

The passage from the state of nature to the civil state produces a very remarkable change in man, by substituting justice for instinct in his conduct, and giving his actions the morality they had formerly lacked.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762

JJ Rousseau broke away from the authoritarianism and rationalism of his day to champion inborn human rights and native intuition.

Lowell Bair Translator of French literature

His works as a political philosopher influenced and fascinated minds as different as those of Hume, Kant, Goethe, Byron, Shiller and in recent times John Dewey and Claude Levi-Strauss.

Mathew Josephson. The Essential Rousseau. Plume Books 1974

Rousseau words "of such violent corrective force, producing an immense glow of enthusiasm, stimulating the love of liberty, most have done much to precipitate France's all important assistance of the American colonists in their revolutionary struggle; and ultimately they lead France to arise from the deadly decay which had taken hold of her institutions"

From Mathew Josephson forward to the book.


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About the Author
Since his early life Matthew Josephson (1899-1978) showned extreme versatility: he wrote poetry, extensive biographies (Zola, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Stendhal and  Edison) essays on political issues, newspaper articles, personal chronicles (Life Among the Surrealists: A Memoir) . Today he is best known as the author of The Robber Barons, He was also an experienced and successful Wall Street broker and businessman.

Josephson's chief concerns were nineteenth-century French literature and twentieth-century American capitalism. In the 1920's he lived in Paris and Berlin where he became acquainted with the European Dadaists and Surrealists suchas Paul Eluard, André Breton, Louis Aragon, and Max Ernst.

David E. Shi. Matthew Josephson, Bourgeois Bohemian, Yale University, 1981 Move to Top

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