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Visions of Politics: Volume 1 Paperback – 9 Sep 2002

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Visions of Politics: Volume 1 + Visions of Politics: Volume 3 + Visions of Politics: Volume 2
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (9 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521589266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521589260
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Quentin Skinner is one of the world's foremost historians of political thought … As a retrospective showcase of the work of a major scholar, this is impressive. Skinner's ability to combine political and philosophical insight with minute knowledge of several centuries of political literature is awe inspiring.' Robert Sugden, The Times Higher Education Supplement

' … this is a deeply impressive collection which displays Skinner's exceptional range.' The New York Review

Book Description

The first of three volumes of essays by Quentin Skinner, one of the world's leading intellectual historians. This collection includes some of his most important philosophical and methodological statements written over the past four decades, each of which has been carefully revised for publication in this form.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Herodotus on 8 Nov 2009
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Be careful re: the title. Whilst Vols 2 and 3 deal in great and well-written detail with Republicaism v Authoritarian rule, Vol. 1 is the must-have introduction to the 'Cambridge School' of contextualism - the study of the works of great thinkers in context, asking essentially 'what did the author say and what did they mean by saying it'? Seems obvious? Well, as Skinner shows, many eminent historians have claimed the most bizarre things on behalf of various authors of the past, simply because they spent too little time considering why a text was written. One classic example would be this: why did Machiavelli write The Prince. The answer no doubt includes a desire to teach the lessons he believed he had learned, but the slant he takes seems anti-Republican, a political ideal he was known to favour (and also wrote a great work on: The Discourses). So what was he up to?; well, in part, he was trying to show he could be loyal to the new regime, if they would only give him his old job back. Anyhow, this is a must for anyone serious about doing history, but one which has also to be read critically - Skinner's approach should be but one tool in the historian's kit-bag.
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