On Liberty

John Stuart Mill; Edited by David Bromwich and George Kateb; With essays by David Bromwich, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Owen Fiss, George Kateb, Richard A. Posner, and Jeremy Waldron

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January 11, 2003
272 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300096101

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Since its first publication in 1859, few works of political philosophy have provoked such continuous controversy as John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, a passionate argument on behalf of freedom of self-expression. This classic work is now available in a new edition that also includes essays by distinguished scholars in a range of fields.

The book begins with a biographical essay by David Bromwich and an interpretative essay by George Kateb. Then Jean Bethke Elshtain, Owen Fiss, Judge Richard A. Posner, and Jeremy Waldron present commentaries on the pertinence of Mill’s thinking to current debates. They discuss, for example, the uses of authority and tradition, the shifting legal boundaries of free speech and free action, the relation of personal liberty to market individualism, and the tension between the right to live as one pleases and the right to criticize anyone’s way of life.

David Bromwich is Housum Professor of English at Yale University. George Kateb is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University. Jean Bethke Elshtain is Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago. Owen Fiss is Sterling Professor of Law at Yale University. Richard A. Posner is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Jeremy Waldron is Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia University.

“A timely edition of Mill’s great work, embellished with essays by the editors and four other prominent scholars which together show the continuing vitality of his radical libertarian doctrine.”—Jonathan Riley, Tulane University

"These lucid and illuminating essays unravel the complexities and resonances of Mill’s thought—a perfect tool for teachers and students."—Susan Dunn, Williams College

"John Stuart Mill is part of the air we breathe. . . . His treatise On Liberty has just been reissued in a new edition by David Bromwich and George Kateb, and deserves attention."—Michael Potemra, National Review

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