The Birth of Politics: Eight Greek and Roman Political Ideas and Why They Matter


Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.9 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Melissa Lane is professor of politics at Princeton University. Her books include Eco-Republic: What the Ancients Can Teach Us about Ethics, Virtue, and Sustainable Living (Princeton) and Plato's Progeny: How Plato and Socrates Still Captivate the Modern Mind.


"The Birth of Politics is a splendid introduction to the world of ancient Greek and Roman political thought. Melissa Lane is a sure-footed and wonderfully knowledgeable guide through the varied terrain of ancient ethics and politics. Her writing is at once profound, engaged, elegant, and lively. Revealing both the familiarity and strangeness of classical thinking about justice, citizenship, cosmopolitanism, and much else, she reminds us why the classics matter today, how often our own political ideas find their antecedents in ancient practice, and how much we still have to learn from the past."--Josiah Ober, author of The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece
"This is the best introduction to ancient political thought--accessible, stimulating, thoughtful, and accurate. Melissa Lane, a scholar of the first rank, is a trustworthy guide who brings recent thinking to bear on the central topics and does an excellent job of writing with an eye to contemporary relevance, without removing ancient thinkers from their very different historical and political contexts."--Kinch Hoekstra, University of California, Berkeley
"This is a lucid, effective, and accessible account of ideas central to Greek and Roman political thought. Melissa Lane does an excellent job of synthesizing important developments in the study of the subject, and she also makes her own subtle, original argument, showing how we might well draw upon the ancients as we think through our own problems."--Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration
"The political ideas of the ancients still endure--and still propel us into debate and even more vigorous conflict. . . . [T]he author successfully illuminates the political ideas that still perplex and divide us."--Kirkus Reviews
"The eight ideas cited in this book constitute the core of politics and can help us to envision what politics should be."---Wan Lixin, Shanghai Daily
"Lane's book . . . offers an enjoyable run through major traditions of classical political ideas. . . . It is thoughtful and challenging, dense and economical without being overwhelming. . . . [Lane] does have an exceptional grasp of political theory . . . and of the connections between ancient and modern political thought, which she communicates admirably."---Joanna Kenty, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"The author combines a philosophical perspective with history, economics, and anthropology to bring out the complex and ambiguous nature of political ideas and politics itself. . . . [T]he book is an easy read and as interesting as the topic it covers."--Choice
"This impressive work of scholarship well deserves the accolades contained on its back cover. . . . The background research is outstanding in a very accessible style. . . . As an introduction to the political thought of the ancient world, this book is excellent."---Tony Burns, Review of Politics