Where do the ideas on which modern western states are built - equality and individual freedom - really come from? What does 'liberalism' mean? Why does it matter? Larry Siedentop's sweeping history offers a radical new perspective on the surprising origins of the beliefs that made us who we are.
Larry Siedentop is one of the most distinguished and penetrating political historians. His previous publications include Tocqueville. He is a tutor at Keble College in Oxford.
Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written ... Siedentop has
achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to
ourselves * Spectator *
One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years ... a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking -- John Gray * Literary Review *
A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition -- Paul Lay * History Today *
Thoroughly interesting and fundamentally convincing ... admirably nuanced ... formidable ... Inventing the Individual is written with effortless lucidity -- Jeffrey Collins * TLS *
An engrossing book of ideas ... illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued -- Kenan Malik * Independent *
A most impressive work of philosophical history -- Robert Skidelsky