Books: The Invincible Loner

JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU by Jean Guehenno. Two volumes, 460 & 316 pages. Columbia. $17.50.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first modern man. This tremendous two-volume biography, written in 1962 by French Academician Jean Guehenno and now translated into English for the first time, succeeds expertly in establishing Rousseau's tortured assertion of individualism as well as his complicated genius. Rousseau raised his own character to the status of dogma and almost to an object of veneration. "He believed he was unique," writes Guehenno, "and for this reason answerable only to his own jurisdiction."

If this does not seem revolutionary today, it is because 20th century man...

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