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Communities of discourse : ideology and social structure in the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and European socialism /
Robert Wuthnow.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1989.
viii, 739 p.
067415164X (alk. paper)
More Details
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1989.
067415164X (alk. paper)
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [585]-732.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-04:
Wuthnow explores the origins and causes of three milestones in European history: the Reformation of the 16th century, the Enlightenment of the 18th, and the rise of socialism, 1870-1914. Wuthnow's discussion is informed by critical theory (with its concern for textuality and narrativity) and by the sociological history of such men as E.P. Thompson and Raymond Williams. Wuthnow examines the convergence of and tension among critical factors for social change: the relative importance of the bourgeoisie, the size and centrality of state bureaucracy, the position of cultural patronage within and/or beyond the court, and the degree to which the king or parliamentary government had captured the key ingredients of social discourse. Wuthnow seeks primarily an understanding of process. The book is rich because he applies his analysis not only to France, England, and Germany, but also to Scandinavia, the Low Countries, and Belgium, Italy, and Spain. Unfortunately the shortcomings of this erudite and stimulating work are apparent: it is long, repetitious, and not readily accessible to readers without background. There are 147 pages of notes, but no bibliography and a jejune index. Much serious thinking is here, but couched in a format that demands dedication and perseverence. -J. T. Rosenthal, SUNY at Stony Brook
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1990
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