Citizens: A Chronicle of The French Revolution (2nd Edition) by Simon Schama

By Simon Schama

The main authoritative social, cultural and narrative heritage of the French Revolution, and one of many nice landmarks of recent historical past publishing.

'Monumental...provocative and classy, Simon Schama's account of the 1st few years of the nice Revolution in France, and of the a long time that led as much as it, is considerate, educated and profoundly revisionist' Eugen Weber, the hot York occasions e-book evaluate

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4 10 '—• Preface While examining the views of the Enlightenment, it will also be useful to see what some of today's complacently selfstyled and so-called philosophers or thinkers have had to say about the Enlightenment. We shall take note of their silences. It will then be tempting to conclude that like the eighteenth century, ours is not lacking in flatterers. 1 Meticulous in its analyses and balanced in its conclusions, this work paints a rather unflattering picture of the way in which French Enlightenment thought mapped out the symbolic geography of the human and the inhuman.

I will be forgiven for not understanding, or for understanding only too well, why the progressive France of 1989 consecrated him by transferring his noble remains to the Pantheon. Could it be France's way of applauding—in these days of halftones and half measures, of pitiful confusion between the just and the unjust, between generosity and moneygrubbing—the fascinating beauty of compromise, the whorish excitement of consensus? Am I straying off course? Let me come back, then, to the point. I realize that I am speaking of the most generous of all of them in talking about Condorcet.

You may be corrupt and corrupting, but you are not liable, from a strictly legal point of view, for impregnating Negresses or forcing them, as you deem fit, into prostitution. As masters, such conduct can only cheapen you; it cannot drag you down the ladder of civility. You are white. In you, as in the best theology of the Holy Trinity, the three sovereignties are irreducible one to the other. However, because you are neither a child, nor an idiot, nor a madman, they constitute an indivisible unity in your soul.

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