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How is a legitimate state possible? Obedience, coercion, and intrusion are three ideas that seem inseparable from all government and seem to render state authority presumptively illegitimate. This book exposes three fallacies inspired by these ideas and in doing so challenges assumptions shared by liberals, libertarians, cultural conservatives, moderates, and Marxists. In three clear and tightly-argued essays William Edmundson dispels these fallacies and shows that living in a just state remains a worthy ideal. This is an important book for all philosophers, political scientists, and legal theorists as well as other readers interested in the views of Rawls, Dworkin, and Nozick, many of whose central ideas are subjected to rigorous critique.