Released on 12 September 2013.

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Life Lessons from Hobbes

and The School of Life

3.39 based on 18 ratings & 5 reviews on


'The School of Life offers radical ways to help us raid the treasure trove of human knowledge' Independent on Sunday

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher. Born in Wiltshire in 1588, his masterpiece, Leviathan, established the foundation for Western political thought and inspired both hate and awe. He revealed the darker side of human nature and the value of authority. But he also showed us how to flourish, how to be fearless and free, so that our lives need not be 'nasty, brutish and short'. Here you will find insights from his greatest work.

The Life Lessons series from The School of Life takes a great thinker and highlights those ideas most relevant to ordinary, everyday dilemmas. These books emphasize ways in which wise voices from the past have urgently important and inspiring things to tell us.

'thoroughly welcoming and approachable ... [an] invigorating essay on Hobbes ... If the six books in the Life Lessons series can teach even a few readers to pay passionate heed to the world - to notice things - they will have been an unquestionable success' John Banville, Prospect

'[Life Lessons From Hobbes is] the best of this bunch ... trenchantly confronting contemporary political problems ... there is a good deal to be learned from these little primers' Observer

'Hannah Dawson is especially good on why Hobbes's theories on the meaning of freedom are so relevant' Evening Standard

In the media

A new series of books from Alain de Botton's School of Life does for Hobbes, Freud, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Byron and Bergson what de Botton's books have done for classical philosophers and Proust. They are short, snappy reads, reminiscent of Maria Popova's Brain Pickings blog - aphoristic digests from history's great minds
New Statesman
I was ... completely enchanted by Hannah Dawson's fiercely brilliant little book, Life Lessons from Hobbes (Macmillan). Her lyrical, clear-eyed prose made me shake off many of my erroneous assumptions about the "Monster of Malmesbury" - and envy Dawson's great facility with language
History Today
Hannah Dawson is especially good on why Hobbes's theories on the meaning of freedom are so relevant
Evening Standard