The Spirit of Laws (Volume 1)

Read by Benjamin Gittins

(4.3 stars; 20 reviews)

This audiobook covers Volume 1 (Books I to XIX) of "The Spirit of the Laws" (French: De "l'esprit des lois", also sometimes called "The Spirit of Laws"). Spirit of Laws is a treatise on political theory first published anonymously by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in 1748 with the help of Claudine Guérin de Tencin. Originally published anonymously partly because Montesquieu's works were subject to censorship, its influence outside of France was aided by its rapid translation into other languages. Montesquieu's political treatise had an enormous influence on the work of many others, most notably: Catherine the Great, who produced Nakaz (Instruction); the Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution; and Alexis de Tocqueville, who applied Montesquieu's methods to a study of American society, in Democracy in America.

In this political treatise Montesquieu pleaded in favor of a constitutional system of government and the separation of powers, the ending of slavery, the preservation of civil liberties and the law, and the idea that political institutions ought to reflect the social and geographical aspects of each community. (Introduction by Wikipedia) (14 hr 7 min)


01 - The Translator to the Reader 20:08 Read by Benjamin Gittins
02 - Preface 6:50 Read by Benjamin Gittins
03 - Advertisement 3:01 Read by Benjamin Gittins
04 - Book 1. Of Laws in General 15:26 Read by Benjamin Gittins
05 - Book 2. Of Laws Directly Derived from the Nature of Government 25:50 Read by Benjamin Gittins
06 - Book 3. Of the Principles of the Three Kinds of Government. 22:36 Read by Benjamin Gittins
07 - Book 4. That the Laws of Education Ought to Be in Relation to the Principl… 25:11 Read by Benjamin Gittins
08 - Book 5a. That the Laws Given by the Legislator Ought to Be in Relation to … 44:07 Read by Benjamin Gittins
09 - Book 5b. That the Laws Given by the Legislator Ought to Be in Relation to … 35:07 Read by Benjamin Gittins
10 - Book 6. Consequences of the Principles of Different Governments with respe… 58:49 Read by Benjamin Gittins
11 - Book 7. Consequences of the Different Principles of the Three Governments … 38:53 Read by Benjamin Gittins
12 - Book 8. Of the Corruption of the Principles of the Three Governments 40:52 Read by Benjamin Gittins
13 - Book 9. Of Laws in the Relation they Bear to a Defensive Force 16:53 Read by Benjamin Gittins
14 - Book 10. Of Laws in the Relation they Bear to an Offensive Force 37:26 Read by Benjamin Gittins
15 - Book 11a. Of the Laws Which Establish Political Liberty With Regard to the… 40:12 Read by Benjamin Gittins
16 - Book 11b. Of the Laws Which Establish Political Liberty With Regard to the… 48:17 Read by Benjamin Gittins
17 - Book 12a. Of the Laws That Form Political Liberty, In Relation to the subj… 37:38 Read by Benjamin Gittins
18 - Book 12b. Of the Laws That Form Political Liberty, In Relation to the subj… 30:39 Read by Benjamin Gittins
19 - Book 13. Of the Relation which the Levying of Taxes and the Greatness of t… 38:57 Read by Benjamin Gittins
20 - Book 14. Of laws in relation to the nature of the climate 37:23 Read by Benjamin Gittins
21 - Book 15. In What Manner the Laws of Civil Slavery Relate to the Nature of … 47:05 Read by Benjamin Gittins
22 - Book 16. How the Laws of Domestic Slavery bear a relation to the nature o… 33:55 Read by Benjamin Gittins
23 - Book 17. How the Laws of Political Servitude bear a relation to the natur… 18:22 Read by Benjamin Gittins
24 - Book 18. Of Laws in the Relation They Bear to the Nature of the Soil 55:20 Read by Benjamin Gittins
25 - Book 19. Of Laws in Relation to the Principles Which Form the General Spir… 1:08:12 Read by Benjamin Gittins


Worthy the reading time

(4 stars)

This book is filled with concepts that are extremely well thought out and circumspect. I was impressed by the level of development he had brought to bear and the relationships and interrelated complexities of different government structures.

Great Content. Excellent Narration.

(5 stars)

I listened with the intent of learning how the founding fathers of the United States of America were influenced by this work by Montesquieu. I found it most intriguing how many principles they applied from this work into the written constitution of the U.S. While I do not agree with all of the opinions of Montesquieu, I do find great value and appreciation for how logical and thorough his knowledge of governmental systems are laid out in this work. The narrator was excellent and pleasant to listen to as well.

A very significant book

(5 stars)

A work of genius, very informative, a must reading for all lovers of history and political philosophy.