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Publisher's Summary

What is at stake is far from insignificant: it is how one should live one's life. Plato's The Republic is widely acknowledged as the cornerstone of Western philosophy. Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, it is an inquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it. During the conversation, other questions are raised: What is goodness? What is reality? What is knowledge? The Republic also addresses the purpose of education and the roles of both women and men as "guardians" of the people. With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by "philosopher kings."

©1923 Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Lazaro
  • cutler bay, FL, United States
  • 10-25-11

Very Good!

Coming into the audiobook, one already knows it's a classic. However, the questions remains, does the narrator bring it to life. Well, the answer is yes. The narrator plays an excellent Socrates, and during the dialogues changes voices to include the other characters. I like it very much.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Shider
  • Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  • 04-03-13

Langton - great job despite a daunting work!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend it to anyone; only it is an exceedingly challenging read. I'm listening along with some of The Great Courses to help me understand all the subtleties.

What other book might you compare The Republic to and why?

"Thus Spoke Zarathustra" - in terms of challenge.

Which character – as performed by James Langton – was your favorite?

Langton has done a great job over Socrates' opponents, distinguishing them very nicely, often mockingly, from the main speaker.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Of course not. It's supposed to stimulate your brain to reason.

Any additional comments?

Do not buy this on its own! Start thinking about additional lectures. You won't get it right away.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe Bloggs
  • WASHINGTON, IL, United States
  • 05-11-12

Communist Republic? Similarities are uncanny

Would you try another book from Plato and/or James Langton?

Yes, I think I would. The real value in this book isn't the philosophy of Plato or his vaunted republic, it's when you realize that these people had thought the same things in the same way we do today. Plato is very familiar with the "democratic man" as he says and "all of his freedoms". I love hearing a completely honest account of what someone thought about democracy when it was first born. <br/><br/>I don't always agree with Plato and Socrates, but you have to admire the honesty of someone who openly calls for a Republic in which mothers and fathers are separated from their children for the sake of the nation. No punches are pulled and say what you want about their values, ideas and philosophy but don't say they weren't brutally honest in the presentation of their ideas.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The fact that it occurred in a democracy over 2000 years ago and the fact that ancient Greece has similarities to our own society, maybe more so than any society before or since that golden age of Greece. <br/><br/>One little gem from the book: Socrates comments on how a democracy steals the land and possessions from the wealthy. Are things any different in the US today? Perhaps in the fact that we can't just up and take the fortune of one individual, but what of an inheritance tax that takes over 50% of the wealth of an individual?

Which character – as performed by James Langton – was your favorite?

Glocon - this guy is the original and I mean ORIGINAL Yes man<br/><br/>I believe the Socratic method is to get your subject saying yes as many times as possible, and I can't count how many times GloCon say "Yes" "It is Certain" and other yes like answers. I just wish there was a guy around who agreed with me as readily as Glocon agreed with Socrates.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It would be the most boring movie ever conceived. Honestly, did the person who came up with this question have any idea what this book is and how it is written?

Any additional comments?

A good book, but best when not listened to all at once. Listening to this book is like reading the Bible, you don't do it all at once and you might want to go back and re-listen to something once in a while.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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a hodden wonder of the world

This is one of return to again and again throughout the course of my life. I want to read it so many times just to be able to grasp the actuality of it all. this book is what has happened for all the civilizations that has rose up since the beginning of writing, maybe since the beginning of human civilization or even civilization itself of all time. it should be taught in school. but to truly appreciate it you must have richness of mind. he even knows about the eye of the soul...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Algonquin, IL, United States
  • 06-01-12

A Still Relevant Read\Listen

While I have read this title before I wanted to enjoy it again via audio presentation. I would have enjoyed better character separation during the heavy Socratic questions suggestions still not a bad overall performance of a masterpiece of a favorite topic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

expanding of the mind and of the soul.

If it were not for this recording i would have not gotten to this experience for another decade or so.

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one of the greats!

i enjoyed the narrator. the last couple chapters were a little struggle for me. I'm glad I read it, but i wish I joined a group to discuss through out the process.

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Must be interested to enjoy.

Not sure what I expected going into this book, but it is easy to lose interest, as the book is written as a dialogue (the synopses even said so) however, the topics discussed are thought provoking and the performance excellent. Definitely a worth while book.

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  • Tyler
  • Red Deer, AB, Canada
  • 04-07-13

Decent, significant, slightly yawn inspiring.

Classically it isn't supposed to be an edge of your seat thriller; if you're into that than you wouldn't be searching for philosophy. It is indeed a good book, well written, and decently narrated. It's "listenable" and not too difficult to get through; certainly beats the paperback version ;)

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  • Ilonka
  • Laguna Woods, US, Canada
  • 12-02-13

Surprice

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

contains some pretty good ideas

Who was your favorite character and why?

no character

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I did not like that one was doing all the talking while the other just said yes, aha and agreed. Am I suppose to think that everyone was stupid and only Socrates (Plato) new the answers and then they just agreed to everything? I expected more

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but it gave some good ideas and truth.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. P. A. Gower
  • 11-07-13

Tough book to understand whilst communting

The narrator used a variety of voices to great effect to emphasize the dialogue nature of Plato’s work. I don’t intend to be disparaging but it did remind me of “Jackanory” (a kid’s story telling BBC TV program from the 1970s) in that by having one narrator you get drawn into the story whereas I find I get distracted with different narrators. I hadn’t read the book prior to listening and it is easy to miss key elements of the arguments whilst listening on your commute to work and I had to repeat sections when I got lost. Although I did not fully understand the book, I was so intrigued that I bought a Great Courses audible book – Plato’s Republic (Professor David Roochnik). I found this excellent and would recommend people buying both to fully appreciate Plato's work. Initially I listened to the course and I then went through the course again switching from lectures to relevant chapters (Plato's "books").

8 of 8 people found this review helpful