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The republic of Plato

4.4 out of 5 stars 406 customer reviews
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Editorial Reviews

Review

C.D.C. Reeve has taken the excellent Grube translation and, without sacrificing accuracy, rendered it into a vivid and contemporary style. It is intensity that is often lost in translation, but not here. This is not just a matter of style. The Republic is full of brilliant thoughts, and one needs to preserve brilliance to capture them. In the cave of translations, Reeve’s revision of Grube's Republic is closest to the sun. --Jonathan Lear, University of Chicago



Reeve has reworked the Grube translation thoroughly, raising the level of philosophical accuracy and updating the language, all the while retaining--and indeed enhancing--the celebrated readability of the Grube original. For a long time to come, Grube-Reeve will deservedly be the first choice of scholars and students alike. --John Cooper, Princeton University

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English, Greek (translation) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (1964)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007FKTFE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (406 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,703,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer 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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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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Format: Paperback
This version of the Republic (translated by Tom Griffith) is pleasant and readable; it definitely has its moments and would probably be a good way to first encounter the dialogue. But do not use it for serious study, since the translation can be quite free and sometimes confusing. For instance, the word usually translated as "advantageous" (sumpheron) in Thrasymachus's argument is rendered as "good for." This is a nice attempt to capture the meaning in a natural way - but I personally wouldn't play around with the word "good" in a translation of the Republic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is of ISBN-10: 0-87220-136-8, Plato * Republic, translated by G.M.A. Grube and revised by C.D.C. Reeve.

I somehow made it through high school and college learning about Plato and Socrates without reading any full-length works. That's changing this spring as I'm taking a discussion-based class on Plato's Republic. This text was recommended by our instructor, and I can see why. The translation is not cumbersome by striving for sheer literalness, but instead seeks to capture the flavor of the discussions Socrates had with others that Plato as a youth observed.

Footnotes are provided to explain the occasional word that has a different classical than contemporary meaning -- and yet you can read each of the 10 books (chapters) that comprise this volume first without attending to the footnotes, then re-reading the books along with their footnotes.

After having seen what gifted vs. pedestrian translations can do to the vigor and beauty of classic works (Beowulf, the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey come to mind), I can understand why Grube's translation is highly regarded. According to the scholar who performed the revision, no such work was called for until 20 years after publication (I am guessing to introduce more current English idiom and turn of phrase). The person who conducted the revision was encouraged to do so by the translator's family, which speaks to continuity.

Given its impact on Western philosophy and thought, the book may at first seem slender to you. Keep in mind that much of it is in the form of dialog -- presented for the most part without space-consuming "I said"s and "he said"s; clarity is preserved with paragraph indents.
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