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The Republic (Penguin Classics) 2nd Edition

373 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140449143
ISBN-10: 0140449140
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About the Author

Plato (c.427-347 BC) stands with Socrates and Aristotle as one of the shapers of the whole intellectual tradition of the West. He founded in Athens the Academy, the first permanent institution devoted to philosophical research and teaching, and theprototype of all Western universities. Desmond Lee was a fellow and tutor of Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and later became President of St Hughes Hall, Cambridge.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 2nd edition (February 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140449140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449143
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

180 of 191 people found the following review helpful By John DePoe on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Plato's Republic is unparalleled in its coverage of all areas of life. While Plato addresses metaphysical issues, he does so with language and analogies that most people can grasp with studious reading. But Plato talks about much more than metaphysics. Marriage, music, war, kings, procreation and more are all topics of discussion for Plato's dialog. In addition to the teachings about life, this book also offers a great introduction to philosophy. The famous "cave story" illustrates not only the purpose of philosophy, but also the inherent difficulties. While this book is absolutely necessary for students of philosophy and religion, I think there are golden truths for all people no matter what they do.
So, why this particular translation of the work? This translation offers the best ease in reading while mainting a tight grasp of the original Greek meanings of Plato's text. Besides, it isn't that expensive.
This book is clearly a timeless classic, and if you can't read classical Greek, this translation is probably the best you will get.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Koller on January 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a review of Christopher Rowe's new (2012) translation of Plato's masterpiece, the Republic (ISBN 0141442433). It is not a review of Plato's Republic as such, but solely of the merits and demerits of Rowe's translation.

I've never quite trusted Rowe as an exegete of Plato, as he's got too much of his own personal agenda intrude on his analysis. His joint book with Terry Penner on the Lysis, for instance, falls far short of giving us an unbiased, expansive, authorative commentary on the dialogue, especially when compared to more sober competitors like Michael Bordt's in the Göttingen Plato.

But as a translator, Rowe has proven time and again that he's singularly scrupulous, and attentive to technical detail where it matters. His renderings of Plato's Politicus (Statesman) and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the latter published with Sarah Broadie, are probably the most authoritative around.

The same can be said for this newest of his translational efforts. In general, translations of the Republic usually err on the side of either trying too heavily to recreate the literary qualities of the original, or miss out so much of that detail because they try to be super exact on technicalities, that in either case the English falls far short of giving us a good understanding of Plato's Greek. The solution, so far, is to read Plato's Republic with (at least) two translations side by side. For instance, on the literal I've found Desmond Lee's quite good, and on the literary, Tom Griffith's stands out. Among the older ones, Paul Shorey's is particularly good on the literary side. Others, like Cornford, Waterfield, or Grube (even when revised under Reeve) can be safely avoided, for having the translators' hobby horses intrude on and mar the main text.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Steven Larsen on February 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This translation, the Grube-Reeve, was recommended to me along with Bloom's. I chose this. It is very readable with chapter summaries by the author.

The physical quality of this edition was a bit of a dissapointment. Hackett puts out editions cheaper than most, but usually they are of better quality than this. The paper is one step from newsprint. Not awful, but I would have liked something better.
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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on July 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
I won't waste time trying to summarize Plato's "The Republic". Most people (I would guess nine out of ten) who have read this colussus of classical philosophy, read it because they were forced to by their college instructors. This is unfortunate because "The Republic" is a compelling and enduring philosophy of how life should be lived, how justice should be approached, and how leaders should lead.

What recommends this book, really, is the bargain price: under five bucks. As one of those college instructors who makes their students read this, I always recommend this edition. Sterling and Scott's translation is as good as anyone else's, so why not save my students a few bucks? And, if you're one of those one out of ten who is considering reading this on your own, you've only got five bucks to lose, but an awful lot of rewarding reading to gain!

Rocco Dormarunno

College of New Rochelle
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By "the_kenosha_kid" on October 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
In the "Republic," Plato may or may not have accomplished what he set out to do, which is to define justice and prove that it is superior to injustice, irregardless of either's consequences. However, what he DID do is set the foundation for over two thousand years of thought. Read this work slowly; within each of the seemingly-simple discussions there is a world of though to be discovered. Anyone with the least bit of background in philosophical readings can literally read page-by-page, discovering the sources of many of the greatest philosophers of all-time. The "Republic" is not so much a work of literature as it is an explosion of thought; a ten-book brainstorm of one of the greatest minds of all-time. By the work's end, whether or not you feel Socrates to have successfully answered Glaucon's challenge is almost irrelevant, for the argument will have already left your mind reeling.
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