Catalogue


Sans-culottes [electronic resource] : an eighteenth-century emblem in the French Revolution /
Michael Sonenscher.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2008.
description
x, 493 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0691124981 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780691124988 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2008.
isbn
0691124981 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780691124988 (hardcover : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction: "One of the most interesting pairs of breeches recorded in modern history" -- An ingenious emblem -- Diogenes and Rousseau: music, morality, and society -- Property, equality, and the passions in eighteenth-century French thought -- The entitlements of merit -- Conclusion: democracy and terror.
catalogue key
12224333
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [425]-474) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"With deftness, wit, and great erudition, Michael Sonenscher traces the complex and unexpected pre-Jacobin history of the phrase 'sans culottes' to its origins in the rivalries and concerns of the Parisian salons. This probing history brings to life the patronesses, philosophers, wits, and hacks of the ancien rÉgime and illuminates the contending uses of ancient philosophy and visions of society and personal virtue that circulated among them. The analyses of competing Ciceronian and Cynical views of fashion, and of the gulfs between Rousseau and his self-designated acolytes, are particularly powerful. This book will be sure to transform irrevocably our understanding of the notorious emblem of Jacobinism."--Jennifer Pitts, author ofA Turn to Empire "With this book, Michael Sonenscher establishes himself as one of the most significant authors in the world today writing on the French Revolution. Focusing at the outset on the apparently unpromising question of how the revolutionary sans-culottes got their name, Sonenscher takes his readers on an extraordinary journey of discovery to the heart of the French Enlightenment and revolutionary politics. A brilliant tour de force, based on a dazzling command of eighteenth-century political and economic writing and razor-sharp analytical skills, this book will be required reading for any scholar or student interested in the origins and outcomes of the revolution."--Colin Jones, Queen Mary, University of London "A pathbreaking account of the emergence of the concept of republican citizenship in the eighteenth century, Michael Sonenscher'sSans-Culottesis also one of the most ambitious, original, and satisfying accounts of the eighteenth-century resonance of Rousseau's arguments regarding human nature, culture, and politics that I have encountered."--E. J. Hundert, professor emeritus of history, University of British Columbia "Drawing on a dazzling array of texts--from the most well known to the totally arcane--Michael Sonenscher reveals that the sans-culottes of revolutionary France were the cultural offspring of a deep and densely argued eighteenth-century philosophical divide. The story is utterly fascinating and will come as a surprise, especially to social historians. There are few scholars working today who can rival the breadth or depth of Sonenscher's command of eighteenth-century European intellectual culture."--Carla Hesse, University of California, Berkeley
Flap Copy
"With deftness, wit, and great erudition, Michael Sonenscher traces the complex and unexpected pre-Jacobin history of the phrase 'sans culottes' to its origins in the rivalries and concerns of the Parisian salons. This probing history brings to life the patronesses, philosophers, wits, and hacks of the ancien r gime and illuminates the contending uses of ancient philosophy and visions of society and personal virtue that circulated among them. The analyses of competing Ciceronian and Cynical views of fashion, and of the gulfs between Rousseau and his self-designated acolytes, are particularly powerful. This book will be sure to transform irrevocably our understanding of the notorious emblem of Jacobinism."--Jennifer Pitts, author of A Turn to Empire "With this book, Michael Sonenscher establishes himself as one of the most significant authors in the world today writing on the French Revolution. Focusing at the outset on the apparently unpromising question of how the revolutionary sans-culottes got their name, Sonenscher takes his readers on an extraordinary journey of discovery to the heart of the French Enlightenment and revolutionary politics. A brilliant tour de force, based on a dazzling command of eighteenth-century political and economic writing and razor-sharp analytical skills, this book will be required reading for any scholar or student interested in the origins and outcomes of the revolution."--Colin Jones, Queen Mary, University of London "A pathbreaking account of the emergence of the concept of republican citizenship in the eighteenth century, Michael Sonenscher's Sans-Culottes is also one of the most ambitious, original, and satisfying accounts of the eighteenth-century resonance of Rousseau's arguments regarding human nature, culture, and politics that I have encountered."--E. J. Hundert, professor emeritus of history, University of British Columbia "Drawing on a dazzling array of texts--from the most well known to the totally arcane--Michael Sonenscher reveals that the sans-culottes of revolutionary France were the cultural offspring of a deep and densely argued eighteenth-century philosophical divide. The story is utterly fascinating and will come as a surprise, especially to social historians. There are few scholars working today who can rival the breadth or depth of Sonenscher's command of eighteenth-century European intellectual culture."--Carla Hesse, University of California, Berkeley
Flap Copy
"With deftness, wit, and great erudition, Michael Sonenscher traces the complex and unexpected pre-Jacobin history of the phrase 'sans culottes' to its origins in the rivalries and concerns of the Parisian salons. This probing history brings to life the patronesses, philosophers, wits, and hacks of the ancien régime and illuminates the contending uses of ancient philosophy and visions of society and personal virtue that circulated among them. The analyses of competing Ciceronian and Cynical views of fashion, and of the gulfs between Rousseau and his self-designated acolytes, are particularly powerful. This book will be sure to transform irrevocably our understanding of the notorious emblem of Jacobinism."--Jennifer Pitts, author of A Turn to Empire "With this book, Michael Sonenscher establishes himself as one of the most significant authors in the world today writing on the French Revolution. Focusing at the outset on the apparently unpromising question of how the revolutionary sans-culottes got their name, Sonenscher takes his readers on an extraordinary journey of discovery to the heart of the French Enlightenment and revolutionary politics. A brilliant tour de force, based on a dazzling command of eighteenth-century political and economic writing and razor-sharp analytical skills, this book will be required reading for any scholar or student interested in the origins and outcomes of the revolution."--Colin Jones, Queen Mary, University of London "A pathbreaking account of the emergence of the concept of republican citizenship in the eighteenth century, Michael Sonenscher's Sans-Culottes is also one of the most ambitious, original, and satisfying accounts of the eighteenth-century resonance of Rousseau's arguments regarding human nature, culture, and politics that I have encountered."--E. J. Hundert, professor emeritus of history, University of British Columbia "Drawing on a dazzling array of texts--from the most well known to the totally arcane--Michael Sonenscher reveals that the sans-culottes of revolutionary France were the cultural offspring of a deep and densely argued eighteenth-century philosophical divide. The story is utterly fascinating and will come as a surprise, especially to social historians. There are few scholars working today who can rival the breadth or depth of Sonenscher's command of eighteenth-century European intellectual culture."--Carla Hesse, University of California, Berkeley
Flap Copy
"With deftness, wit, and great erudition, Michael Sonenscher traces the complex and unexpected pre-Jacobin history of the phrase 'sans culottes' to its origins in the rivalries and concerns of the Parisian salons. This probing history brings to life the patronesses, philosophers, wits, and hacks of the ancien rÉgime and illuminates the contending uses of ancient philosophy and visions of society and personal virtue that circulated among them. The analyses of competing Ciceronian and Cynical views of fashion, and of the gulfs between Rousseau and his self-designated acolytes, are particularly powerful. This book will be sure to transform irrevocably our understanding of the notorious emblem of Jacobinism."--Jennifer Pitts, author ofA Turn to Empire"With this book, Michael Sonenscher establishes himself as one of the most significant authors in the world today writing on the French Revolution. Focusing at the outset on the apparently unpromising question of how the revolutionary sans-culottes got their name, Sonenscher takes his readers on an extraordinary journey of discovery to the heart of the French Enlightenment and revolutionary politics. A brilliant tour de force, based on a dazzling command of eighteenth-century political and economic writing and razor-sharp analytical skills, this book will be required reading for any scholar or student interested in the origins and outcomes of the revolution."--Colin Jones, Queen Mary, University of London"A pathbreaking account of the emergence of the concept of republican citizenship in the eighteenth century, Michael Sonenscher'sSans-Culottesis also one of the most ambitious, original, and satisfying accounts of the eighteenth-century resonance of Rousseau's arguments regarding human nature, culture, and politics that I have encountered."--E. J. Hundert, professor emeritus of history, University of British Columbia"Drawing on a dazzling array of texts--from the most well known to the totally arcane--Michael Sonenscher reveals that the sans-culottes of revolutionary France were the cultural offspring of a deep and densely argued eighteenth-century philosophical divide. The story is utterly fascinating and will come as a surprise, especially to social historians. There are few scholars working today who can rival the breadth or depth of Sonenscher's command of eighteenth-century European intellectual culture."--Carla Hesse, University of California, Berkeley
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-09-01:
Despite its title, this book is not about the sansculottes of revolutionary France. Rather, Sonenscher (King's College, Cambridge) presents a novel and not entirely convincing etymology of the term "sans-culottes" as a point of entry into the reconstruction of the political and socioeconomic thought of pre-revolutionary France. Citing the gift of breeches by Mme. de Tencin to the regulars of her salon, Sonenscher argues that culottes signified a patronage relationship, so that writers and artists who were sansculottes were independent of such ties. Most of the book, however, consists of a meandering survey of Old Regime debates on the role of public credit, the ideal of a reformist patriot-king, and the means to reconcile reason with the passions and self-interest with communitarianism. Sonenscher's erudition is impressive, and his point regarding the need to avoid reading 18th-century political and economic thought backward from the vantage point of the Revolution is well taken. His text, however, unwittingly resembles the vast, rambling histoires philosophiques of the Enlightenment, jumping abruptly from one topic to another. In the age of word processors, readers have the right to expect greater clarity, focus, and organization. Summing Up: Optional. Graduate students/faculty. D. A. Harvey New College of Florida
Reviews
Review Quotes
As someone who has transformed himself during this period from a distinguished social historian to a leading expert on eighteenth century political thought, Sonenscher's professional career mirrors the trajectory scholarship of the Revolution has taken in his lifetime. . . . [T]he new book is the result of twenty-five years' patient advancing of what it is possible to know about the French Revolution and, at its heart, the elusive sans-culottes.
"As someone who has transformed himself during this period from a distinguished social historian to a leading expert on eighteenth century political thought, Sonenscher's professional career mirrors the trajectory scholarship of the Revolution has taken in his lifetime. . . . [T]he new book is the result of twenty-five years' patient advancing of what it is possible to know about the French Revolution and, at its heart, the elusive sans-culottes."-- Ruth Scurr, Modern Intellectual History
As someone who has transformed himself during this period from a distinguished social historian to a leading expert on eighteenth century political thought, Sonenscher's professional career mirrors the trajectory scholarship of the Revolution has taken in his lifetime. . . . [T]he new book is the result of twenty-five years' patient advancing of what it is possible to know about the French Revolution and, at its heart, the elusive sans-culottes. -- Ruth Scurr, Modern Intellectual History
Close attention to his text will be repaid with a deepened awareness of the variety and power of the political writing in circulation in the late monarchy. He succeeds completely in establishing that political life was in most respects richer and more full of nuance than we might imagine.
"Close attention to his text will be repaid with a deepened awareness of the variety and power of the political writing in circulation in the late monarchy. He succeeds completely in establishing that political life was in most respects richer and more full of nuance than we might imagine."-- James Livesey, American Historical Review
Close attention to his text will be repaid with a deepened awareness of the variety and power of the political writing in circulation in the late monarchy. He succeeds completely in establishing that political life was in most respects richer and more full of nuance than we might imagine. -- James Livesey, American Historical Review
Sans-Culottes is a challenging read, not least because of its style and structure. Sonenscher juggles a dizzying array of primary sources. . . . That said, the payoffs to reading this book are tremendous.
Sans-Culottesis a challenging read, not least because of its style and structure. Sonenscher juggles a dizzying array of primary sources. . . . That said, the payoffs to reading this book are tremendous.
" Sans-Culottes is a challenging read, not least because of its style and structure. Sonenscher juggles a dizzying array of primary sources. . . . That said, the payoffs to reading this book are tremendous."-- Charles Walton, H-France Forum
Sans-Culottes is a challenging read, not least because of its style and structure. Sonenscher juggles a dizzying array of primary sources. . . . That said, the payoffs to reading this book are tremendous. -- Charles Walton, H-France Forum
Sans-Culottesis a challenging read, not least because of its style and structure. Sonenscher juggles a dizzying array of primary sources. . . . That said, the payoffs to reading this book are tremendous. -- Charles Walton, H-France Forum
Sonenscher is brilliant. . . . He is equally path-breaking. . . . Sonenscher provides the most convincing account of the nature of the ideological divisions of 1789-91. . . . In providing an overview . . . Sonenscher shows what has been missed by historians of the French Revolution.
"Sonenscher is brilliant. . . . He is equally path-breaking. . . . Sonenscher provides the most convincing account of the nature of the ideological divisions of 178991. . . . In providing an overview . . . Sonenscher shows what has been missed by historians of the French Revolution."-- Richard Whatmore, Reviews in History
Sonenscher is brilliant. . . . He is equally path-breaking. . . . Sonenscher provides the most convincing account of the nature of the ideological divisions of 1789-91. . . . In providing an overview . . . Sonenscher shows what has been missed by historians of the French Revolution. -- Richard Whatmore, Reviews in History
Sonenscher's insights into the moral and economic history of prerevolutionary France are wide ranging and extremely well documented; few can rival his breadth.
"Sonenscher's insights into the moral and economic history of prerevolutionary France are wide ranging and extremely well documented; few can rival his breadth."-- Julia V. Douthwaite, Eighteenth-Century Studies
Sonenscher's insights into the moral and economic history of prerevolutionary France are wide ranging and extremely well documented; few can rival his breadth. -- Julia V. Douthwaite, Eighteenth-Century Studies
Sonenscher's opera magna constitute an enormous achievement. Revealing a new face of eighteenth-century intellectual history and recovering a myriad of forgotten works, they are sure to be read--indeed to be used as references--for years to come.
"Sonenscher's opera magna constitute an enormous achievement. Revealing a new face of eighteenth-century intellectual history and recovering a myriad of forgotten works, they are sure to be read--indeed to be used as references--for years to come."-- Carolina Armenteros, French History
[T]he author succeeds in forcing the reader outside the comfort zone of more traditional approaches in an intellectual tour de force that no historian of the Revolution can safely ignore.
"[T]he author succeeds in forcing the reader outside the comfort zone of more traditional approaches in an intellectual tour de force that no historian of the Revolution can safely ignore."-- Hugh Gough, Historian
This is intellectual history as free jazz. Sonenscher rips and riffs through the links to be made between all manner of ideas across several generations of salon conversation and erudite writing. . . . This work's contribution . . . to illuminating the complexity of eighteenth-century French intellectual history cannot be gainsaid.
"This is intellectual history as free jazz. Sonenscher rips and riffs through the links to be made between all manner of ideas across several generations of salon conversation and erudite writing. . . . This work's contribution . . . to illuminating the complexity of eighteenth-century French intellectual history cannot be gainsaid."-- David Andress, Times Literary Supplement
This is intellectual history as free jazz. Sonenscher rips and riffs through the links to be made between all manner of ideas across several generations of salon conversation and erudite writing. . . . This work's contribution . . . to illuminating the complexity of eighteenth-century French intellectual history cannot be gainsaid. -- David Andress, Times Literary Supplement
A pathbreaking account of the emergence of the concept of republican citizenship in the eighteenth century, Michael Sonenscher'sSans-Culottesis also one of the most ambitious, original, and satisfying accounts of the eighteenth-century resonance of Rousseau's arguments regarding human nature, culture, and politics that I have encountered.
Drawing on a dazzling array of texts--from the most well known to the totally arcane--Michael Sonenscher reveals that the sans-culottes of revolutionary France were the cultural offspring of a deep and densely argued eighteenth-century philosophical divide. The story is utterly fascinating and will come as a surprise, especially to social historians. There are few scholars working today who can rival the breadth or depth of Sonenscher's command of eighteenth-century European intellectual culture.
With deftness, wit, and great erudition, Michael Sonenscher traces the complex and unexpected pre-Jacobin history of the phrase 'sans culottes' to its origins in the rivalries and concerns of the Parisian salons. This probing history brings to life the patronesses, philosophers, wits, and hacks of the ancien régime and illuminates the contending uses of ancient philosophy and visions of society and personal virtue that circulated among them. The analyses of competing Ciceronian and Cynical views of fashion, and of the gulfs between Rousseau and his self-designated acolytes, are particularly powerful. This book will be sure to transform irrevocably our understanding of the notorious emblem of Jacobinism.
With this book, Michael Sonenscher establishes himself as one of the most significant authors in the world today writing on the French Revolution. Focusing at the outset on the apparently unpromising question of how the revolutionary sans-culottes got their name, Sonenscher takes his readers on an extraordinary journey of discovery to the heart of the French Enlightenment and revolutionary politics. A brilliant tour de force, based on a dazzling command of eighteenth-century political and economic writing and razor-sharp analytical skills, this book will be required reading for any scholar or student interested in the origins and outcomes of the revolution.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Sans-Culottes' sets out a new way of thinking about the history of the French Revolution. It's starting point is the now-forgotten original meaning of the phrase sans culottes, or what the condition of being without breeches (sans culottes) once meant in the 18th century.
Main Description
This is a bold new history of the sans-culottes and the part they played in the French Revolution. It tells for the first time the real story of the name now usually associated with urban violence and popular politics during the revolutionary period. By doing so, it also shows how the politics and economics of the revolution can be combined to form a genuinely historical narrative of its content and course. To explain how an early eighteenth-century salon society joke about breeches and urbanity was transformed into a republican emblem,Sans-Culottesexamines contemporary debates about Ciceronian, Cynic, and Cartesian moral philosophy, as well as subjects ranging from music and the origins of government to property and the nature of the human soul. By piecing together this now forgotten story, Michael Sonenscher opens up new perspectives on the Enlightenment, eighteenth-century moral and political philosophy, the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the political history of the French Revolution itself.
Main Description
This is a bold new history of the sans-culottes and the part they played in the French Revolution. It tells for the first time the real story of the name now usually associated with urban violence and popular politics during the revolutionary period. By doing so, it also shows how the politics and economics of the revolution can be combined to form a genuinely historical narrative of its content and course. To explain how an early eighteenth-century salon society joke about breeches and urbanity was transformed into a republican emblem, Sans-Culottes examines contemporary debates about Ciceronian, Cynic, and Cartesian moral philosophy, as well as subjects ranging from music and the origins of government to property and the nature of the human soul. By piecing together this now forgotten story, Michael Sonenscher opens up new perspectives on the Enlightenment, eighteenth-century moral and political philosophy, the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the political history of the French Revolution itself.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Abbreviations and a Note on Translationsp. xi
Introduction: "One of the Most Interesting Pairs of Breeches Recorded in Modern History"p. 1
An Ingenious Emblemp. 57
New Year's Gifts and an Eighteenth-Century French Jokep. 57
Fashion's Empire: The Moral Foundations of Salon Societyp. 77
A "Poor Devil": The Short, Unhappy Life of Nicolas-Joseph-Laurent Gilbertp. 101
Mercier and Rousseau: Vitalist and Contractual Conceptions of Political Societyp. 110
Diogenes and Rousseau: Music, Morality, and Societyp. 134
Diogenes and the Ambiguities of Cynic Philosophyp. 134
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Politics of Public Opinionp. 147
Rousseau and His Cynic Criticsp. 164
John Brown and the Progress of Civilisationp. 178
"That Subtle Diogenes": Immanuel Kant and Rousseau's Dilemmasp. 195
Property, Equality, and the Passions in Eighteenth-Century French Thoughtp. 202
Reform, Revolution, and the Problem of State Powerp. 202
Property and the Limits of State Powerp. 221
Physiocracy, Reform, and the Fruits of the Tree of Lifep. 248
John Law's Legacy and the Aftermath of Physiocracyp. 260
Dominique-Joseph Garat, the Modern Idea of Happiness, and the Dilemmas of Reformp. 273
The Entitlements of Meritp. 283
Visions of Patriotismp. 283
The Army and Its Problems in the Eighteenth Centuryp. 288
Constitutional Government, Taxation, and Equalityp. 296
Political Liberty, Public Finance, and Public Worshipp. 305
Etienne Claviere, Law's System, and French Libertyp. 315
Feuillants and Bissotinsp. 324
Antoine-Joseph Gorsas and the Politics of Revolutionary Satirep. 338
Conclusion: Democracy and Terrorp. 362
Politics and History in Jacobin Thoughtp. 362
Rousseau and Revolutionp. 367
Mably, Rousseau, and Robespierrep. 372
Epiloguep. 407
Bibliographyp. 425
Indexp. 475
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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