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Science and Polity in France: The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Years.

GILLISPIE, Charles Coulston (1918-).

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ISBN 10: 0691115419 / ISBN 13: 9780691115412
Published by Princeton University Press, (2004)., Princeton & Oxford:, 2004
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8vo. viii, 751 pp. Cloth, dust-jacket. Bottom edge rubber stamped: "Examination Copy â" not for resale." Near fine. ISBN: 0691115419. Bookseller Inventory # RH1442

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Science and Polity in France: The ...

Publisher: Princeton University Press, (2004)., Princeton & Oxford:

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


From the 1770s through the 1820s the French scientific community predominated in the world to a degree that no other scientific establishment did in any period prior to the Second World War. In his classic Science and Polity in France: The End of the Old Regime, Charles Gillispie analyzed the cultural, political, and technical factors that encouraged scientific productivity on the eve of the Revolution. In the present monumental and elegantly written sequel to that work, which Princeton is reissuing concurrently, he examines how the revolutionary and Napoleonic context contributed to modernization both of politics and science.

In politics, argues Gillispie, the central feature of this modernization was conversion of subjects of a monarchy into citizens of a republic in direct contact with a state enormously augmented in power. To the scientific community, attainment of professional status was what citizenship was to all Frenchmen in the republic proper, namely the license to self-governance and dignity within the respective contexts. Revolutionary circumstances set up a resonance between politics and science since practitioners of both were future oriented in their outlook and scornful of the past.

Among the creations of the First French Republic were institutions providing the earliest higher education in science. From them emerged rigorously trained people who constituted the founding generation in the disciplines of mathematical physics, positivistic biology, and clinical medicine. That scientists were able to achieve their ends was owing to the expertise they provided the revolutionary and imperial authorities in education, medicine, warfare, empire building, and industrial technology.

From the Back Cover:

"A masterpiece of thorough research, this is a major work of scholarship by one of the great historians of our time and quite possibly the most distinguished of a distinguished generation of historians of science. It is thoroughly original and written with grace and clarity. The book ought to be fundamental not only for historians of science, but for anyone who wishes to appreciate the events and significance of the French Revolution."--Theodore M. Porter, author of Karl Pearson: The Scientific Life in a Statistical Age

"A remarkable piece of work and a worthy sequel to Science and Polity in France: The End of the Old Regime. Written in an elegant and punchy style, the book is sustained by a strong thesis that will interest a wide range of historians. It will also be seen, like the previous volume, as an important work of reference. Where else could we find such finely documented accounts of the last year of the Académie des Sciences, of the institutions and personalities of the revolutionary period, or of the introduction of the revolutionary calendar and the metric system?"--Robert Fox, author of Science, Industry, and the Social Order in Post-Revolutionary France

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