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Two Treatises of Government

Narrated by: James Langton
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Summary

Often considered the foundation of political liberalism, John Locke's Two Treatises of Government was first published anonymously in 1689, in the wake of England's Glorious Revolution. In The First Treatise of Government, Locke refutes the idea of divine monarchy, while The Second Treatise of Government articulates Locke's philosophy of government, which he based upon his theories of natural rights and the social contract. In Locke's view, governments' legitimacy is based upon their performance of their proper functions---preservation of the life, liberty, and property rights of their citizens, and protection from those who seek to violate these rights. A radical doctrine at the time of its publication, Locke's theories provided a philosophical basis for many of the principles behind the American Revolution. More than 300 years after the publication of the Two Treatises of Government, Locke's ideas continue to spark debate. A must-listen for anyone interested in the foundations of contemporary political ideology, Locke's hugely influential work will retain its relevance for generations to come.

Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor

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Glorious and I was sad when it ended.

he admits he does rather labour his point in the first book, but it's very enjoyable. While a serious topic I was grinning and sometimes giggling at the sharpness and whit with which he decimates Sir Robert's 'arguments'. As to the second book -. love it so much, he totally nails his point such that it's impenetrability to decent is impossible (so far as I can see). Its glorious.

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A hugely important work, done justice

Anyone who values democratic government owes a huge amount to Locke, and Langton's performance treats the work with the gravitas it deserves.

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A great listen and politically intriguing.

the book is in two parts the first a response to the tyrannical power of monarchy and the second a justification for democracy and private property. concepts are engaged with critically and well so demonstrate the value towards what Locke focused primarily on the public good. best read in regards to Hobbes' leviathan and Rousseau's social contract

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  • Travis
  • 09-07-12

Don't let the title scare you off!

What did you love best about Two Treatises of Government?

I discovered that John Locke has a wonderful sense of humor!

What other book might you compare Two Treatises of Government to and why?

There are so many books that draw from this book for their material. Most "conservative" books quote from this one several times in order to make their case for limited government.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, but it is a lot of information to take in all at once so it took me a couple weeks to get through and process what I learned.

9 people found this helpful

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  • michael
  • 20-10-11

It's easy to understand why this book is so import

This is an important book that probably had a profound influence on the framers of the American government. In it John Locke totally debunks the divine right of kings. He makes the whole idea look beyond absurd, and he does so using the same bible verses that defended the idea in the first place. Locke also lays out the ideas that are so important to America, and to classical liberalism. These ideals are still important to any one who believes in political freedom and freedom from governmental oppression. From what I understand this book is the place to start as far as gaining an understanding of classical liberalism and modern libertarianism is concerned, and after listening to it you will be more enlightened.

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  • Gregory
  • 05-12-16

Excellent Narration, Foundational Text

First, I must say that this narrator is easier to follow than simply reading the text, so good is his reading.

The text itself is a very medieval thing, like all early modern works of political thought, but also a very contemporary thing, as all pieces of well-considered literature are when they bear upon perennial issues. Worth several listens, and a lifetime of pondering.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-03-18

Excellent, both Locke's work and Langton's voice

It takes a few moments to calibrate your mind to the no-longer-common language, however it quickly becomes as comprehensible as any

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  • Garry
  • 15-03-17

A must read for every voter

This book provides you with an understanding of the relationship of government and its citizens. It is foundational knowledge for all those who will be participating in our republic. I pray that we teach this in our civics clases.

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  • Joshua Phillips
  • 16-08-16

Freedom and Liberty

I wish I had the opportunity to read this growing up! God bless American Liberty!

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  • Clarence
  • 03-02-20

Inspirational

I recommend this book to everyone! I wish it was on the curriculum and taught in public schools

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  • Eric
  • 26-11-19

Read exceptionally well

Besides the author's use of plain language, the performance was particularly good and helped to understand this work better. The choices cadence and emphasis made me feel like I could have been listening to the author himself. Very well done.

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  • chris
  • 07-11-19

required rreading

this book should be read by everybody of voting age before they vote. it shows what the government

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  • Alan Laidlaw
  • 26-10-19

Blew me away

Took me a while to get used to the way a lawyer in the 1690's wrote and there are definitely times when it feels like 100 words are used where 5 would have been today. The amount of humor in a serious text surprised me. Its no wonder this was published anonymously during Locke's lifetime, these were not opinions you could publish in a monarchy. A worthwhile listen that presents ideas that underpin a lot of what we can easily take for granted in the US today.