Critics of the Enlightenment: Readings in the French Counter-Revolution Traditionby Christopher Olaf Blum
Pub. Date: 11/28/2003
Publisher: ISI Books
For the Anglo-American world, Edmund Burke is the touchstone of counter-revolutionary thought, but in this volume, Christopher Olaf Blum shows that in attempting to vindicate the principles that had, at its best, animated the Old Regime, and in critiquing the institutions and beliefs associated with the New Regime, the French counter-revolutionary tradition is unparalleled. To understand adequately what Georges Bernanos called the “spiritual drama of Europe,” it is a tradition that must be grappled with.
Critics of the Enlightenment makes available new translations of representative selections from some of the leading French conservative thinkers of the nineteenth century: François de Chateaubriand, Louis de Bonald, Joseph de Maistre, Fredéric Le Play, Émile Keller, and René de La Tour du Pin. The selections span much of the nineteenth century, from Chateaubriand’s 1814 pamphlet against Bonaparte to La Tour du Pin’s 1883 essay on the theory of the corporate state. The volume, therefore, not only includes responses of the French conservatives to the French Revolutions of 1789 through 1815, but also testifies to the continuing elaboration of this critique against the background of the troubled nineteenth century. Blum’s introduction sets these selections within the contexts of the events giving rise to them and the lives of their authors. The French political philosopher Philippe Bénéton supplies the book’s foreword.
Blum’s elegant translations of texts heretofore difficult or impossible to find in English allow Anglophone readers to profit from the counter-revolutionaries’ insights about social and cultural matters of perennial importance, such as the necessary roles of religion, family, and local communities within any larger political society—matters of pressing concern to the counter-revolutionaries of our own time.
- ISI Books
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)
Table of ContentsSelections Include:
François-René de Chateaubriand: On Buonaparte and the Bourbons
Louis-Gabriel-Amboise de Bonald: On Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux; Thoughts on Various Subjects; Observations upon Madame de Staël’s Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution; On the Agricultural Family, the Industrial Family, and the Right of Primogeniture
Joseph de Maistre: Reflections on Protestantism in its Relations to Sovereignty; On the Pope
Fredéric Le Play: Social Reform in France Émile Keller: The Encyclical of the 8th of December and the Principles of 1789 René de La Tour du Pin: Towards a Christian Social Order
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