The 'Leviathan' is the vast unity of the State. But how are unity, peace and security to be attained? Hobbes's answer is sovereignty, but the resurgence of interest today in Leviathan is due less to its answers than its methods. Hobbes sees politics as a science capable of the same axiomatic approach as geometry; he argues from first principles to human nature to politics. Written during the turmoil of the Civil War, Leviathan was, in Hobbes's lifetime, publicly burnt and even condemned in Parliament as one of the causes of the Great Fire of London! Its appeal to the twentieth century lies not just in its elevation of politics to a science, but in its overriding concern for peace. Its argument that the state of nature, in which life is 'nasty, brutish and short' (and patriarchal), is important, but so too is its systematic analysis of power, and its convincing apologia for the then emergent market society in which we still live.