Godwin's "Political Justice": A Reprint of the Essay on "Property," from the Original Edition

Godwin's "Political Justice": A Reprint of the Essay on "Property," from the Original Edition

Godwin's "Political Justice": A Reprint of the Essay on "Property," from the Original Edition

Godwin's "Political Justice": A Reprint of the Essay on "Property," from the Original Edition

Excerpt

It is now more than a hundred years since the world was startled by the appearance of a book which, both by the significance of its title and the strangeness of its conclusions, was well calculated to arrest the attention -- friendly or hostile, as the case might be -- of every reader into whose hands it might fall. It is difficult for us, who live in a less speculative and sanguine age, to realize the keen interest which attached to the publication, in 1793, of William Godwin's Political Justice, at a crisis when men's minds were strung to a high pitch of expectant enthusiasm by the thrill of excitement of which the French Revolution was the cause; but the testimony of contemporary authors, whatever their personal sympathies might be, is explicit on this point. "No work in our time," says Hazlitt, "gave such a blow to . . .

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