Locke: Two Treatises of Government Student Edition, Paperback Book

Locke: Two Treatises of Government Student Edition Paperback

Edited by Peter Laslett

Part of the Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought series

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is the revised version of Peter Laslett's acclaimed edition of Two Treatises of Government, which is widely recognised as one of the classic pieces of recent scholarship in the history of ideas, read and used by students of political theory throughout the world.

This 1988 edition revises Dr Laslett's second edition (1970) and includes an updated bibliography, a guide to further reading and a fully reset and revised introduction which surveys advances in Locke scholarship since publication of the second edition.

In the introduction, Dr Laslett shows that the Two Treatises were not a rationalisation of the events of 1688 but rather a call for a revolution yet to come.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 478 pages, black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of ideas
  • ISBN: 9780521357302



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Locke's Two Treatises of Government surprisingly lived up to my expectations. He argues in two parts: 1) apologists for monarchical governments are wrong and 2) the people of a society are the ones with ultimate power and sway over the social contract. This latter argument is the more important part for contemporary and present-day people that want to understand this thing we call "freedom." However, without the first Treatise, the second loses its context–it demonstrates Locke's motivation.Additionally, I found the introductory material to the Cambridge Student Edition edited by Peter Laslett fascinating. Laslett provides context surround thing the history of the text alongside some useful analysis of Locke that made reading the Two Treatises much easier.Locke should be required reading--to some extent--for people that wish to participate in and benefit from a democracy.

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