Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius

Finalist, National Book Awards 2005 for Nonfiction

ISBN 9780618872022
Houghton Mifflin

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A masterful biography of Rousseau, which integrates the story of his original writings with the tumultuous life that produced them.

Judges Citation

Witty, pungent, and erudite, Leo Damrosch’s Rousseau renders one of the most canonical figures in Western literary and political thought into a full-bodied human, flawed, glorious, searching, and bold. Weaving a gift for story-telling into the profound learning he plies with a light touch, setting Rousseau alongside eminent friends, such as Diderot, and separating myth from amorous myth-making, Leo Damrosch gives to our times a vital and searing biography of the eighteenth-century founder of autobiography, the author of The Social Contract, and a complicated man whose daring, passionate ideas confound, please, and vex us still.