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on June 13, 2016
Wow, what an amazing piece of history this writing is! You really cannot understate the importance of Plato's "The Republic." The writing explores what an ideal state/nation/society is and how to achieve it. I won't go into too much detail, but the writing covers A LOT of ground. It discusses the nature of justice, the theory of forms, the immortality of the soul, and the role of philosophy and poetry in society. If you consider yourself a learned person, you cannot skip over this writing from 380 BC. The insight it provides to our world TO THIS DAY is simply amazing.
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on February 22, 2017
The greatness of Plato, and how this book, more than 2000 year later, perfectly fits the current global political situation are not part of my rating. This review is for the kindle version, and the work of the translator Mr. Jowett. It was my first time reading it in English, and it was as inspiring as the first time i read it. Kudos. As per those looking for a kindle version with annotations, footnotes, because my teacher told me "i have to read it"....if you cannot understand the message beyond Plato words from the simple way it was presented in this version, there is no mountain of footnotes that can help you.
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Plato's Republic (c. 380 BC) is one of those books that most literate people have heard of, but few people other than philosophy majors have actually read more than a few paragraphs. So I approached the book with curiosity to see why it's so well known. I can't speak for the accuracy of the translation from Greek to English, but the Benjamin Jowett translation is at the very least quite readable. Jowett begins with a long, detailed 286-page introduction and analysis (That's about 42% of the book's length), followed by the ten books (chapters) of The Republic.

Attempting to understand the nature of justice, Plato gives his vision of a society led by an elite class of guardians who are trained from birth for the task of ruling. The rest of society is composed of soldiers and common people. In the republic, an ideal citizen is one who understands how they can use their abilities for the benefit of society. There is little thought of personal freedom or individual rights in Plato’s republic, since everything is tightly controlled by the guardians for the good of society as a whole. Whether Plato’s republic is an ideal, or even possible society, has been argued for more than twenty-four hundred years.

Whatever your opinion is, Plato's Republic is worth reading for his many varied opinions on a broad range of topics.
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on May 18, 2017
A quality translation of Plato’s Republic. Plato has Socrates explore the question “what is justice?” From this original question, a dialogue concerning the ideal society emerges. Society is split into philosopher-kings, warriors, and producers with major concerns about political, economic, and military power. Alfred North Whitehead famously stated that western philosophy is merely ‘a series of footnotes to Plato.’ From the Thrasymachan might-makes-right argument in Book I to the Platonic theory of the forms (influenced by the philosophies of Heraclitus and Parmenides), this text ouches on many of the most important philosophic questions with which the world has had to address continuously over the centuries.
I bought this book for a philosophy class (and have read the text in at least three or four classes). Of all the texts in the Platonic Corpus, this is the most important. If you read this text, give yourself several weeks at least to appreciate the ideas Plato is exploring. I would rank this text easily within the top twenty-five books I have ever read.
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VINE VOICEon April 11, 2016
Review of: "The Republic of Plato, translated by Professor Allan Bloom."

In his translation of Plato's Republic, Professor Bloom used the Oxford text of the Republic (edited by John Burnet) and deviated from that text "only rarely and in the important instances have made mention of it in the notes," thus creating what has been heralded as one of the most accurate renderings of the translation which is also the first strictly literal one as well. Synopsis: In The Republic, Plato, speaking through his teacher Socrates, sets out to answer two questions: First, What is justice? and Second, Why should we be just? Book I sets up these challenges. The conversationalists then engage in a Socratic dialogue similar to that found in Plato’s earlier works (such as Protagoras and Lysis). While among a group of both friends and enemies, Socrates then poses the question, “What is justice?” He proceeds to refute every suggestion offered, showing how each harbors hidden contradictions. Yet he offers no definition of his own, and the discussion ends in aporia, a deadlock, where no further progress is possible and the conversationalists feel less sure of their beliefs than they had at the start of the conversation. In Plato’s early dialogues, aporia usually spells the end. The Republic moves beyond this deadlock. Nine more books follow upon which Socrates develops a rich and complex theory of justice. Bloom's work is exceptional. Five stars without reservation.
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on February 26, 2017
Absolute classic, one dollar for the kindle version?? Fantastic. There are many classics that should be in EVERY library, this is one.
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This review is dedicated exclusively to the work published on Kindle. This is not the least expensive Kindle edition,and it is not the most expensive. It is almost exactly halfway between the two. And, unless you have a special reason for wanting the Allen Bloom translation, I suggest you get this one, for half the cost. The active Table of Contents is just as good as you need it to be, and the material added by the editor / translator is good, without being noisome. You came, after all, to read Plato, not someone else's opinion of Plato.

The top of the list for requirements with this kind of work is that all the identifying numbers and letters identifying where you are in the work are present, and searchable. This is huge. There are probably a dozen or so editions from a half dozen major translators, and the only way to find your way around is through these line numbers, which all good scholarly citations should include. I just did a quick look at the preview of Allan Bloom's edition, and these numbers are missing from the Kindle. If you want Bloom's translation, get it on paper (which does have the line numbering) and get this one for searching.

I will mention that this also has the virtue of not being the 19th century translation of Benjamin Jowett. You will not be mislead by Jowett, but there have been several newer translations which have improved on his work. This one by G. M. A. Grube may be one of the best, but even if it is not, there is always virtue in having more than one translation. My hand copy translation is by Paul Shorey, in the Loeb Classics edition, with the Greek. So I like having the alternative available.
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on August 21, 2012
Plato's Republic is a book that will change an individual's understanding and approach to life. This is one of those books that you hear about, usually in your High School years and may be smart enough to pick up and attempt to read on you own or may always pass it up because of the belief that the contents are too esoteric. This is anything but true. This is one of the greatest books ever written!

Yes, it will be more challenging than reading the daily newspaper or the latest Twilight book. The major difference is that a newspaper keeps you informed and the Twilight series allows you to escape. The Republic will make you search inside of your own mind it will make you think and reflect, you will be a different person if you take the time to work through it. It should strike people as interesting that a book written so long ago can and does carry so much weight today. This is the beauty of the Republic.

I have noticed that some of the negative remarks of the book deal with the translation and not the actual book. I must declare ignorance as far as the worthiness of the translation. All I can say about the translation is that when we read this in school, this was the text that our professor told us we needed to have because of the translation. I found it to have a nice flow to it, but, having not read other versions and not being versed on Classic Greek, all I can say is that it worked for us in the class.

Do your self a favor and pick up this book. You will be challenged but never disappointed.
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on September 8, 2011
In a Preface to the work, Allan Bloom explains his translation philosophy as follows:

"The translator should conceive of himself as a medium between a master whose depths he has not plumbed and an audience of potential students of that master who may be much better endowed that is the translator. His greatest vice is to believe he has adequately grasped the teaching of his author. It is least of all his fuction to render the work palatable to those who do not wish, or are unable, to expend the effort requisite to the study of difficult texts."

Amen to that. Bloom does us the important service of providing an unadulterated translation of Plato's Republic. It might be awkward and dated in places, but it's far better to approach such a text in a form as close to its true essence as possible. Plato (and Socrates) would heartily agree.

In addition to the translation, Bloom also gives us an exhaustive "interpretive essay" that is keyed to the text. For example, if you don't understand section 369b of the text, just turn to the interpretive essay and read the paragraphs that deal with 369b-372e. Further, Bloom's extensive notes (marked with numbers in the text and collected in the back of the book--i.e. endnotes) provide even more information that is helpful to truly understand the text.
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on February 24, 2017
It may feel like having a tooth pulled, but it really is something that everyone should read. Important to know how this philosophy had an influence on our own government system.
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