The Social Contract

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.1 stars; 114 reviews)

The Social Contract outlines Rousseau's views on political justice, explaining how a just and legitimate state is to be founded, organized and administered. Rousseau sets forth, in his characteristically brazen and iconoclastic manner, the case for direct democracy, while simultaneously casting every other form of government as illegitimate and tantamount to slavery. Often hailed as a revolutionary document which sparked the French Revolution, The Social Contract serves both to inculcate dissatisfaction with actually-existing governments and to allow its readers to envision and desire a radically different form of political and social organization. (Summary by Eric Jonas) (4 hr 46 min)


1-01-Subject of the First Book 1:40 Read by Diana Majlinger
1-02-Primitive Societies 4:33 Read by Neeru Iyer
1-03-The Right of the Strongest 2:44 Read by Neeru Iyer
1-04-Slavery 10:28 Read by Rex Koontz
1-05-That it is always necessary to go back to a first convention 2:33 Read by Justin Tovar
1-06-The Social Pact 5:23 Read by Justin Tovar
1-07-The Sovereign 5:50 Read by Christian Al-Kadi
1-08-The Civil State 3:15 Read by Christian Al-Kadi
1-09-Real Property 7:36 Read by Christian Al-Kadi
2-01-That Sovereignty is inalienable 3:08 Read by Sienna
2-02-That Soverignty is indivisible 4:43 Read by Sienna
2-03-Whether the General Will can ere 2:58 Read by Sienna
2-04-The limits of the sovereign power 8:49 Read by Sienna
2-05-The right of Life and Death 5:15 Read by Availle
2-06-The Law 7:51 Read by Patrick Wells
2-07-The Legislator 8:32 Read by Anna Simon
2-08-The People 5:32 Read by Ezwa
2-09-The People (continued) 6:11 Read by Ezwa
2-10-The People (continued) 7:22 Read by Ezwa
2-11-The Different Systems of legislation 4:09 Read by Daniel Watkins
2-12-Division of the Laws 3:10 Read by Daniel Watkins
3-01-Government in general 15:20 Read by Christian Al-Kadi
3-02-The Principle which constitutes the different forms of Government 7:34 Read by Christian Al-Kadi
3-03-Classification of Governments 3:22 Read by Anna Simon
3-04-Democracy 4:48 Read by Anna Simon
3-05-Arisctocracy 4:49 Read by Anna Simon
3-06-Monarchy 12:43 Read by Anna Simon
3-07-Mixed Governments 2:43 Read by Sienna
3-08-That every form of government is not fit for every country 11:56 Read by Sienna
3-09-The Marks of a good Government 2:54 Read by Sienna
3-10-The Abuse of the Government and its tendency to degenerate 4:48 Read by Sienna
3-11-The Dissolution of the Body Politic 3:06 Read by Sienna
3-12-How the sovereign Authority is Maintained 2:26 Read by Sibella Denton
3-13-How the sovereign Authority is Maintained (continued) 3:37 Read by Sibella Denton
3-14-How the sovereign Authority is Maintained (continued) 2:00 Read by Sibella Denton
3-15-Deputies or Representatives 7:36 Read by Sibella Denton
3-16-That the Institution of the Government is not a contract 2:51 Read by Sibella Denton
3-17-The Institution of the Government 2:44 Read by Sibella Denton
3-18-Means of Preventing Usurpations of the Government 4:33 Read by Sibella Denton
4-01-That the General Will is indestructible 4:54 Read by Sibella Denton
4-02-Voting 6:20 Read by Sibella Denton
4-03-Elections 4:31 Read by Sibella Denton
4-04-The Roman Comitia 21:51 Read by Rex Koontz
4-05-The Tribuneship 4:06 Read by Daniel Watkins
4-06-The Dictatorship 6:06 Read by Daniel Watkins
4-07-The Censorship 3:47 Read by Daniel Watkins
4-08-Civil Religion 22:33 Read by Rex Koontz
4-09-Conclusion 1:07 Read by Daniel Watkins


An intriguing argument and a decent recording

(5 stars)

I found Rousseau's argument quite compelling. I also found most readers familiar with the presentation style typical of this kind of work.

Amazing readers

(4.5 stars)

The readers were very easy to understand.

(1.5 stars)

Thick accent of the reader makes this difficult to follow

A follow up title on Thomas Hobbes’ ‘Leviathan’

(5 stars)

A really interesting read, innovatively read and recorded by several readers - a good contrast good for the ears. I enjoyed it, THANK YOU.

(5 stars)

very informative, look at the political situation and signaling in the media today and most of the negative affects written of a declining state are manifest

Awful recording

(1 stars)

A lot ot dead air frustrating. I am hoping to find another version on or elsewhere.

it's great

(5 stars)

always good to read in historical texts, the similarities of today, restores sanity into my life

(4 stars)

Great book, but the adds are a bit annoying