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Introducing Rousseau presents a maverick thinker whose ideas revolutionised our understanding of childhood, education, government, language and much else. What is the value of civilisation? Rousseau first posed this question. His answer - that civilisation corrupts natural goodness and increases inequality between humans - shocked his Enlightenment contemporaries and still challenges us today. Did Rousseau inspire the French Revolution? Can we trace Romanticism, psychoanalysis and Existentialism back to him? This great introduction charts Rousseau's turbulent life of lost innocence, persecution and paranoia.