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Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History

Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism

Authors: Vincent, K. Steven

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Hardcover $115.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-30643-2
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Softcover $34.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-349-29239-4
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About this book

This book advances a new interpretation of the timing and character of French (and more broadly European) liberalism, and contributes to the ongoing debate concerning the place of morality, sociability, and conceptions of the "self" in modern liberal thought.

About the authors

STEVEN VINCENT Professor of History at North Carolina State University, USA.

Reviews

'As a fierce advocate of decentralization, religious toleration, and the rule of law, Benjamin Constant's Talleyrand-like ability for political survival has led many scholars to label him a political opportunist. However, in this superb exploration of the provenance of French liberalism, Vincent restores the intellectual and physical companion of Germaine de Staël to renewed importance. Highly recommended.' CHOICE

'Vincent's new work, deftly drawing on a wide array of both primary and secondary works, is bound to become an indispensable instrument for any student of Benjamin Constant in the English-speaking world.' History of European Ideas

'The book expertly narrates Constant's early years and development into a liberal political thinker and actor. It provides excellent descriptions of post-revolutionary France and the problems Constant confronted when he entered politics in the 1790s. Vincent convincingly argues that Constant's liberal political stance emerged quite early, namely during the Directory and Consulate, and that it was conceived expressly to deal with the issues of his time.' H-France

"Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism is lucid, elegantly written, and useful, summing up the major elements of political history in this period with accuracy and incisiveness. Vincent brings together the political, the socio-cultural, and the literary, using each to reflect on the other in provocative ways. His account allows readers to follow the intricate connections between the volatile ideological climate of the period from 1789 to 1815, the elite social world of the Old Regime and Revolution, and the literary discourse of sensibilité. This careful exposition allows Vincent to make subtle points with considerable acuity." - John Warne Monroe, Associate Professor, Department of History, Iowa State University

"This book is an original and well-researched piece of scholarship about a thinker of major importance and growing reputation. Vincent shows a flawless familiarity with Constant's own writings, the political and intellectual context in which they were set out, and the secondary literature relating to Constant himself and the period. Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism will make a contribution to Constant scholarship, to the study of French liberalism, and to the study of liberal thought." - Jeremy Jennings, Professor of Political Theory, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

"This is an illuminating, thoughtfully conceived, and richly contextualized study of Benjamin Constant's development as a political thinker. Vincent provides a lucid and nuanced account of Constant's 'pluralistic liberalism' and argues persuasively that this important variety of French liberal political theory emerged in the aftermath of the Terror in the struggle to establish a stable political order that would not subvert the principles of the Revolution." - Jonathan Beecher, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Vincent, K. Steven

    Pages 1-15

  • Benjamin Constant: The Early Years (1767–95)

    Vincent, K. Steven

    Pages 17-38

  • The Emergence of Liberalism (1795–97)

    Vincent, K. Steven

    Pages 39-80

  • Liberal Dilemmas (1797–1802)

    Vincent, K. Steven

    Pages 81-128

  • Liberal Culture: Sensibilité and Sociability

    Vincent, K. Steven

    Pages 129-162

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11710-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $115.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11009-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $36.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-30643-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $34.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-29239-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-11710-5
DOI
10.1057/9780230117105
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-11009-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-30643-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-29239-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 280
Topics