Amazon.com description: Product Description
: This collector-quality edition includes the complete text of Daniel Defoe's classic tale in a freshly edited and newly typeset edition. With a generous 6"x9" page size, this Summit Classic edition is printed on heavyweight bright white paper with a fully laminated cover featuring an original full color design. Page headers, a modern easy-to-read font and page design that evokes the classic values of traditional book publishing exemplify the attention to detail given this volume. Also included is an original introductory essay, intended for the modern reader and not the literature classroom, discussing the life and work of the author and the literary significance of this work in particular. Published in 1719, "Robinson Crusoe," is one of the most widely-read, frequently reprinted and widely-translated books in the English language. Often recognized as the first modern novel, the book was an immediate success and introduced the realism movement in English literature, as well as originating the still-popular "castaway" genre. The storyline familiar to most readers, with Robinson Crusoe shipwecked and stranded on a deserted island, actually takes place on Crusoe's third sea voyage, the first having ended in shipwreck and the second with his being captured by pirates. Despite these misadventures Crusoe returns to sea, only to be shipwrecked again. This time he alone survives, and over the ensuing twenty-eight years the resourceful and increasingly self-reliant castaway manages not only to survive but to become relatively comfortable under the circumstances. When cannibals from a nearby island visit "his" island to kill and eat their captives Crusoe aids one of the captives who escapes and becomes Crusoe's faithful servant and companion, "Friday". Many have read "Robinson Crusoe" simply as a compelling and original tale of adventure, complex themes and interpretations are not hard to find. Crusoe's deliberation over killing the cannibals raises the issue of cultural relativism. The novel has been interpreted in terms of european colonialism, Christian redemption, and even economics, with the classical school of thought using the tale to illustrate the allocation of labor to the value of production. Karl Marx ridiculed economists for using a work of fiction as a model, and then used it himself to support his argument that labor is inherently more valuable than capital. Certainly all of these themes can be found in the pages of this timeless classic, but perhaps the reason for its enduring popularity, aside from the simple narrative style, interesting characters and creative storyline lies, in part, in the fact that it is, after all, a compelling and original tale of adventure. Most likely born some time between 1659 and 1661, Daniel Foe began calling himself Defoe sometime by the late 1690's and became a merchant, trader, writer, tax collector and spy. In addition to notable works of fiction and pioneering efforts as a novelist, Defoe was an early economic journalist, a successful poet, a fiercely combative political pamphleteer, a widely-read author of Christian "guide to proper living" books and an early writer on psychology and the supernatural. Nearing sixty years of age, Defoe's greatest works as a writer commenced with Robinson Crusoe in 1719. In the following decade he would publish over a half-dozen novels, including Moll Flanders (1722), as well as his well-recieved "guide" books, non-fiction works on the deterioration of British society, the supernatural, foreign trade and travel, and most remarkably, the three-volume "Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain" (1724-1727), a monumental work depicting in detail the state of economics and trade in an England at the brink of the industrial revolution.