Kiss Of Lamourette

Overview

“Learned and lively essays. . . . Each subject [Darnton] investigates—from the history of reading to Andrzej Wajda’s film ‘Danton’—has its own fascination.” —The New Yorker
At home in the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries, Robert Darnton is a shrewd and entertaining guide to the shifting borderlands of history and culture. These wide-ranging essays appear under various headings: “Current Events” —this section includes the wonderful story of the moment in 1792 when all the delegates in the French Legislative ...
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Overview

“Learned and lively essays. . . . Each subject [Darnton] investigates—from the history of reading to Andrzej Wajda’s film ‘Danton’—has its own fascination.” —The New Yorker
At home in the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries, Robert Darnton is a shrewd and entertaining guide to the shifting borderlands of history and culture. These wide-ranging essays appear under various headings: “Current Events” —this section includes the wonderful story of the moment in 1792 when all the delegates in the French Legislative Assembly kissed each other; “Media,” on television, pounding a newspaper beat, and tips to academics on how to get a book published; “The Printed Word,” with an essay on the history of books; “The Lay of the Land,” on aspects of intellectual history; and “Good Neighbors,” on the relation of history to literature anthropology, and the sociology of knowledge.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When bishop Antoine Lamourette, a deputy in the French Revolution, proposed fraternal love as the key to uniting divided factions, his speech moved members of the legislative assembly to hugs and kisses. Taking this event as a starting point, Darnton ( The Great Cat Massacre ) ponders ``what was so revolutionary'' about the Revolution in an essay that serves as a welcome antidote to the current spate of revisionist histories of that upheaval. An uneven mix of popular and specialized academic writings, this collection is best displaying Darnton's willingness to delve beneath the surface of events. One piece shows how the power structure of the New York Times helps determine ``all the news that's fit to print.'' Other articles explore the historical consciousness of Poland's Solidarity members, how the media interpret the past, crime and popular literature during the Enlightenment, a history of reading habits. There's also a tongue-in-cheek survival guide for unpublished authors. Photos. (Nov.)
Library Journal
This book should be essential reading for those who think that history must be either dull or irrelevant. The book's scope could hardly be wider. The ``kiss of Lamourette'' was a minor event in the French Revolution, and it forms the topic of the first chapter. Among other things, Darnton discusses his years as a newspaper reporter, gives hilarious advice to authors who wish to have their books accepted by university presses, demonstrates the vital importance of history to Polish people in the era of Solidarity, and skewers a historical TV docudrama. There are also thoughtful essays on the current state of historical research and on 18th-century France. All but one of the 15 chapters have appeared in print previously. Every chapter glows with wit, compassion, and erudition. A marvelous collection; for every library.-- Thomas J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393307528
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Darnton is the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the University Library at Harvard University. His honors include a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Humanities Medal and election to the French Legion of Honor. He is the author of many books, including The Great Cat Massacre and The Kiss of Lamourette and The Forbidden Best-sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France.
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