Who were the Jacobins and what are Jacobinism's implications at the end of the 20th century? In a text based on national and local studies - including Marseilles, Lyon and Paris - Patrice Higonnet reconceptualizes Jacobin politics and philosophy, and seeks to rescue them from postmodernist condescension. Higonnet documents and analyzes the radical thought and actions of leading Jacobins and their followers. He shows Jacobinism's variety and flexibility, as it emerged in the lived practices of exceptional and ordinary people in varied historical situations. He demonstrates that these proponents of individuality and individual freedom were also members of dense social networks who were driven by an over-riding sense of the public good. By considering the most retrograde and the most admirable features of Jacobinism, Higonnet balances revisionist interest in ideology with a social historical emphasis on institutional change. In these pages, the Terror becomes a singular tragedy rather than the whole of Jacobinism, which retains value as an influential variety of modern politics.
Higonnet argues that with the collapse of socialism and the general political malaise in Western democracie
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(235mm x 155mm x 21mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Author Biography - Patrice Higonnet
Patrice Higonnet is Robert Walton Goelet Professor of French History, Harvard University.