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Description - To Speak for the People by Jon Cowans

Although there is now a great deal of literature on the concept of public opinion in the 18th century France, it is almost entirely devoted to the pre-revolutionary years. No book has tackled the concept of public opinion in the French Revolution itself. To Speak for the People is a lucid and innovative study that finally fills this gap. Historian Jon Cowans adds a strong and genuinely original voice to the historical debate over the problem of legitimacy during the Revolution drawing on the works of such luminaries as Jurgen Habermas, Keith Baker, Francois Furet, and Nancy Fraser. He then examines the uses of terms such as "public opinion," 'the public," and "the people" in political debates during the Revolution and analyses those terms' changing meaning and the role they played in attempts to secure political authority. While shedding new light on the Revolution itself, the book raises broader issues by addressing the problem of legitimacy that has haunted all revolutionary and democratic governments throughout the modern period.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415929721
ISBN-10: 0415929725
Format: Paperback / softback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 21-Jun-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Jon Cowans

Jon Cowans is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He received his Ph.D. in History at Stanford University. He has published articles on French political culture, cultural politics, and memory in French Historical Studies, the Journal of Contemporary History, and History and Memory. He teaches in the History Department of Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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