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"Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains." Thus begins Rousseau's influential 1762 work, in which he argues that all government is fundamentally flawed and that modern society is based on a system of inequality. The philosopher posits that a good government can justify its need for individual compromises and that promoting social settings in which people transcend their immediate appetites and desires leads to the development of self-governing, self-disciplined beings. A milestone of political science, these essays are essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and other social sciences. G. D. H. Cole translation.

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