In a world rife with willful chaos, how can order be restored? Philosopher Thomas Hobbes’s answer, composed amid the violence of the English Civil War, revolutionized political thought. His solution was a commonwealth, or Leviathan, a body politic ruled and protected by an absolute sovereign. Its power would be dependent on the people to exchange their freedom for the security and order of a common law. Only with this social contract, Hobbes argued, can civil peace be established.
A witty, imaginative, and eternally provocative philosophical bulwark, Leviathan was burned upon publication for being seditious. It remains one of the most influential and fundamental texts of social theory ever written.
Revised edition: Previously published as Leviathan, this edition of Leviathan (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.