This Reader contains the five most influential books ever written about political strategy and philosophy. Plato's "Republic" is a Socratic dialogue written c380 BC. It focusses on the definition of justice and the order and character of the just city-state and the just man. It is Plato's most famous work and is one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory. Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is an ancient Chinese military treatise. It was written by a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician, probably between. 481 BC and 403 BC. The book has thirteen chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time and has continued to inspire leaders through the ages. Thomas More's Utopia was published in 1516 and is a fictional work exploring political philosophy. The story depicts a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs. Machiavelli's "The Prince" was published in 1532 and is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist.
It is one of the first works of modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. Hobbes' Leviathan is concerned with the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. It was written during the English Civil War (1642-1651) and argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign.