Republic, by Plato, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences biographical, historical, and literary to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. One of the greatest works of philosophy, political theory, and literature ever produced, Plato s Republic has shaped Western thought for thousands of years, and remains as relevant today as when it was written during the fourth century B.C.Republic begins by posing a central question: 'What is justice, and why should we be just, especially when the wicked often seem happier and more successful?' For Plato, the answer lies with the ways people, groups, and institutions organize and behave. A brilliant inquiry into the problems of constructing the perfect state, and the roles education, the arts, family, and religion should play in our lives, Republic employs picturesque settings, sharply outlined characters, and conversational dialogue to drive home the philosopher s often provocative arguments.It has been said that the entire history of Western philosophy consists of nothing more than 'a series of footnotes to Plato.' Vastly entertaining, occasionally shocking, and always stimulating, Republic continues to enrich and expand the outlook of all who read it.Elizabeth Watson Scharffenberger holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Columbia University. A specialist in the culture and literature of Athens during the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., she teaches at Columbia University and New York University s Gallatin School.