This volume presents lucid and insightful lectures on three great figures from the history of political thought, by John Plamenatz (1912-1975), a leading political philosopher of his time. He explores a range of themes in the political thought of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau, at substantially greater length and depth than in his famous work of 1961, Man and Society. The lectures exemplify Plamenatz's view that repeated engagement with the texts of canonical thinkers can substantially enrich and expand our capacity for political reflection. Edited by Mark Philp and Zbigniew Pelczynski, the volume includes annotations to supply Plamenatz's sources and to refer readers to developments in their interpretation. A substantial introduction by Philp sets some of Plamenatz's concerns in the light of trends in recent scholarship, and illuminates the relevance of his work to the contemporary study of political thought.