The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France

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9780393037203: The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France

Exploring the cultural and political significance of forbidden books in France, a historian considers the ideological origins of the Revolution and its connections with the Enlightenment by examining what the French read in the eighteenth century--with substantial excerpts included.

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Review:

More popular than the canon of the great Enlightenment philosophers were other books, also banned by the regime, written and sold "under the cloak." These formed a libertine literature that was a crucial part of the culture of dissent in the Old Regime. Robert Darnton explores the cultural and political significance of these "bad" books and introduces readers to three of the most influential illegal best-sellers, from which he includes substantial excerpts. Winner of the 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

About the Author:

Robert Darnton is Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of European History at Princeton University.

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