Liberty and Equality

Princeton Univ. Nov. 2023. 120p. tr. from French by Samuel Garrett Zeitlin. ISBN 9780691226767. $19.95. POL SCI
This first English translation of Aron’s last lecture at the Collège de France in 1978 was originally published in French 10 years ago by political scientist Pierre Manent. Zeitlin (political philosophy, Univ. of Cambridge) does a great service to academia by making Aron’s (1905–83) final thoughts about liberty and equality accessible to a wider audience. The work, highlighting the political thinker/philosopher’s mature views and perspectives, was put together with such great care and precision that readers will quickly forget it’s a translation as they follow the discourse. The lecture is enhanced by Mark Lilla’s eight-page preface and Manent’s 40-page epilogue, filled with great insight and utility. Most notable, the book’s structure allows readers to jump right into the content of the lecture instead of first making their way through a lengthy introduction. Overall, this is an important philosophical contribution highlighting the thoughts of one of the more important postwar advocates of liberalism in the 20th century.
VERDICT Relevant for many disciplines such as philosophy, political science, sociology, and more. An essential purchase for college and university libraries.
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