Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 great essays in one volume, 13 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: On Liberty and Other Essays (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
This is a nice edition bringing together 4 of Mill's essays into one volume.

If you are not familiar with Mill's writing the underlying ideas are powerful even if there are flaws in some of the arguments. His liberalism was ahead of its time, and its easy to forget how radical some of his views were. The writing style is typical of its era - long winded, long sentences and long paragraphs. Focus on what he is saying rather than how he is saying it, and you will get most out of it. If Mill was writing in a modern style then the essays would be much shorter! But you get into the writing once you have read a few chapters. Having said that, there are wonderful pieces of English in this book, and some parts are a pleasure to read in a way that a modern writer would not achieve.

I did not find Gray's introduction that fantastic, which is a shame as the introduction can add huge value to an edition like this. I often like Gray's writing, and I know he does not always make it easy for the reader - but this introduction is hard work. That's not to say it's not worth the effort, but I don't really believe it needs to be such an effort!
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