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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

This Penguin Classic is performed by Jim Barclay, best known for their roles in The Young Ones and Jeeves and Wooster. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Christopher Rowe, also read by Jim Barclay.

We set about founding the best city we could, because we could be confident that if it was good we would find justice in it.

The Republic, Plato's masterwork, was first enjoyed 2,400 years ago and remains one of the most widely read books in the world: as a foundational work of Western philosophy and for the richness of its ideas and virtuosity of its writing. Presented as a dialogue between Plato's teacher Socrates and various interlocutors, it is an exhortation to philosophy, inviting its listeners to reflect on the choices to be made if we are to live the best life available to us. This complex, dynamic work creates a picture of an ideal society governed not by the desire for money, power or fame, but by philosophy, wisdom and justice.

Christopher Rowe's accurate and enjoyable new translation remains faithful to the many variations of the Republic's tone, style and pace. This edition also contains a chronology, further reading, an outline of the work's main arguments and an introduction discussing Plato's relationship with Socrates, and the Republic's style, ideas and historical context.

©2012 Christopher Rowe (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Republic

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arguably the best philosophy book on audible

plato may have been one of the smartest people who ever lived and the republic is one of the best surviving books ever written. and he’s wrong.

excellent contemporary and accessible translation and performance of arguably one of the ten most important books ever written. this book also doubles as an entry point into philosophy. skip the general introductions of philosophy and start here.

the new penguin translations on audible are the only greek philosophy translations you should be purchasing as audiobooks. all other rely on outdated public domain translations that wouldn't be accepted in most college courses. this pairs nicely with "the last days of socrates" which i'd also recommend. hopefully more quality translations from penguin classics in philosophy and the social sciences will become available (e.g. aristotle's metaphysics / de anima, kierkegaard’s fear and trembling / sickness unto death / papers and journals, aquinas's selected writings, marx's capital, lopez's buddhist scriptures, roots of yoga, triste tropiques etc.) this is a huge gift.

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What was needed!

Admittedly, some of this was difficult but I hadn't realized I need philosophy in my life until now. The performance was very good.

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  • N. Booth
  • 01-04-22

Philosophical classic

You can reviews of the main work elsewhere.

I wanted to comment on the translation, which is excellent. Christopher Rowe has done a great job - the conversation flows naturally and is easy to understand. Whilst listening I was following the text of a different translation, which I found much harder to follow - it was both disjoint and used obscure language in many places. This translation seems to avoid those defects. The narration of Jim Barclay is also wonderful - you really get the feeling of a cozy fireside discussion, and he makes what could easily be a stale conversation dynamic and three dimensional.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-11-22

Not for the faint hearted

This book isn’t for the faint hearted, but is undoubtedly one of the most important texts in western philosophy. It’s a slog, but worth it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-24-21

Great modern translation

Christopher Rowe's provides a great translation that improves the readability of Republic for modern audiences and non-specialists without compromising its authenticity as one of western philosophy's most foundational texts. It's brought to life by a lively and enthusiastic reading by Jim Barclay. Republic remains a remarkably wholistic philosophical text as its scope, despite its reputation, is not limited to political and moral philosophy but extends deeply into discussions on epistemology and metaphysics as well. I strongly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in classic literature or philosophy.