This major new contribution to our understanding of European political theory will challenge the perspectives in which political thought is understood. Framed as a general account of the period between 1572 and 1651 it charts the formation of a distinctively modern political vocabulary, based on arguments of political necessity and raison d'etat in the work of the major theorists. While Dr. Tuck pays detailed attention to Montaigne, Grotius, Hobbes and the theorists of the English Revolution, he also reconsiders the origins of their conceptual vocabulary in humanist thought--particularly skepticism and stoicism--and its development and appropriation during the revolutions in Holland and France. This book will be welcomed by all historians of political thought and those interested in the development of the idea of the state.
'This is at once a most elegant survey and a highly original work. ... this book will be recognised as the most fertile history of political thought in the early modern period.' Ian Harris, Journal of Political Studies