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Easy book, interesting, albeit waffling
on 8 September 2015
Mill does tend to adopt a fairly waffling prose, however if you want the basics of what it means to have individual liberty and in what ways that can be associated and lived in within a democracy than this is your book.
The chapters are laid out well but themes and thoughts are often repeated throughout, so have patience to find things that are new. In fact to get a broad overview of a chapter you can do this by reading the first and last paragraphs. This will miss several examples and illustrations in which he cements these ideas within history and in a way that may be useful to understand.
Having said this this is a pretty easy book to read, so if you are a beginner in philosophy or the subject of liberty and utilitarianism then this is perfect. What is especially good is the last chapter (5) which is just of applications which uses his theories and thoughts and applies them to practical instances. This is useful to get to grips the theory, and if you study philosophy a perfect thing to draw on when trying to explain and discuss Mill.