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A number of Montesquieu's lesser-known discourses, dissertations and dialogues are made available to a wider audience, for the first time fully translated and annotated in English. The views they incorporate on politics, economics, science, and religion shed light on the overall development of his political and moral thought. They enable us better to understand not just Montesquieu's importance as a political philosopher studying forms of government, but also his stature as a moral philosopher, seeking to remind us of our duties while injecting deeper moral concerns into politics and international relations. They reveal that Montesquieu's vision for the future was remarkably clear: more science and less superstition; greater understanding of our moral duties; enhanced concern for justice, increased emphasis on moral principles in the conduct of domestic and international politics; toleration of conflicting religious viewpoints; commerce over war, and liberty over despotism as the proper goals for mankind.


‘This splendid edition of Montesquieu's essays – most of which are translated here for the first time, and all of which are scrupulously annotated – will be an indispensable resource for scholars and students of Montesquieu, the Enlightenment, and the liberal tradition.'

Dennis Rasmussen - Syracuse University

‘Montesquieu's intellectual obsessions remain our own – including republicanism, the separation of powers, despotism, liberty, the role of women in society and politics, the benefits and costs of global trade, the effects of religious beliefs, and science and society to name just a few. This translation of a range of his shorter works with its insightful introduction is a treasure for students and scholars alike who wish both to broaden and deepen their knowledge of a foremost thinker of the Enlightenment whose thought helped to shape the world in which we live.'

Vickie Sullivan - Tufts University

‘This collection of previously untranslated works by Montesquieu is beautifully executed and long overdue. It demonstrates the great sweep of Montesquieu's esprit across topics ranging from modern science to ancient Rome to the politics, morality, and economics of his time. Scholars of Montesquieu and students of the Enlightenment will long be indebted to Carrithers and Stewart for this very fine volume.'

Sharon Krause - Brown University

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