Because the editors believe that the image of William Penn has been sentimentalized and therefore obscured, and because they believe that ""there is no better mirror of the man than his writings"" they have assembled a collection of Penn's essays, modernized in language, which presents a composite portrait of the man and the times which impelled his written thoughts. For Penn, as well as being the philosopher on the human condition, was a man greatly concerned with the philosophical and practical politics of his day (certainly because politics and religion in the 17th century were so interwoven). He was the great friend of John Locke and Algernon Sydney, a situation which often did him more harm than good at court. Among these essays are Penn's conclusions on freedom of conscience, on political developments, on his view of life and defenses of the Quaker doctrine. Penn is seen here as the social philosopher, as the man of action and as the man of faith. This is a worthwhile book for those interested in the foundation ideas of Americana. A fine introduction enlightens the scenes of Penn's age and a good documentation and bibliography is provided.