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To Speak for the People Public Opinion and the Problem of Legitimacy in the French Revolution

by Jon Cowans

  • ISBN: 9780415929714
  • ISBN10: 0415929717

To Speak for the People Public Opinion and the Problem of Legitimacy in the French Revolution

by Jon Cowans

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publish date: 06/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780415929714
  • ISBN10: 0415929717
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Description: Although historians frequently invoke "public opinion" as a significant force, very few have engaged it in a critical fashion. And none have given serious treatment to the crucial role this concept played in the French Revolution. To Speak for the People is a lucid and innovative study that finally fills this gap.

Historian Jon Cowans adds a genuinely original voice to the debate over the problem of legitimacy during the Revolution, drawing on the works of Jurgen Habermas, Keith Baker, Francois Furet, and Nancy Fraser. He examines the use of terms such as "public opinion", "the public", and "the people" in political debates and analyzes their changing meanings over the course of the Revolution.

While shedding new light on the Revolution itself, the book raises broader issues about the problem of legitimacy that has haunted all revolutionary and democratic governments throughout the modern period.

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