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John Rawls was one of the most important political philosophers of our time, and promises to be an enduring figure over the coming decades. His Theory of Justice (1971) has had a profound impact across philosophy, politics, law, and economics. Nonetheless Rawlsian theory is not easy to understand, particularly for beginners, and his writing can be dense and forbidding.
Thomas Pogge's short introduction (originally published in German) gives a thorough and concise presentation of the main outlines of Rawls's theory, introduces biographical information when necessary, and draws links between the Rawlsian enterprise and other important positions in moral and political philosophy.