The Humane Comedy: Constant, Tocqueville, and French Liberalism (Hardback)
  • The Humane Comedy: Constant, Tocqueville, and French Liberalism (Hardback)
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The Humane Comedy: Constant, Tocqueville, and French Liberalism (Hardback)

(author), (author of preface)
£77.00
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 09/01/1992
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This book is the last completed work of one of the most distinguished political theorists and intellectual historians of our time. Focusing on the political ideas and activities of leading French liberals from approximately 1805 into the Second Empire, Professor Kelly presents a distinctive blend of ideological and intellectual history, biography, analysis of French regimes and their changes, and his own reflections concerning the wide and still highly pertinent range of issues considered. Beginning with a subtle analysis of the complex patterns of agreement and disagreement between the liberalisms of Benjamin Constant and Alexis de Tocqueville, the work offers a sophisticated examination of the attempts of a sequence of liberal thinkers to harmonize their commitments to political and civil liberty with one another, and with a profound desire for a legitimate and stable political order.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521412278
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 526 g
Dimensions: 236 x 160 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'One could not hope for a more intelligent or erudite guide. His awe-inspiring familiarity with both primary and secondary sources, in England, Germany and America as well as France, enables him to place each of the writers he considers in his or her precise intellectual, social and psychological context. His encyclopaedic knowledge is always the disciplined servant of a clear and penetrating intelligence ... the result is a subtle and comprehensive picture of French Liberal thought during the Restoration and the July Monarchy.' Norman Hampson, French History
"...reveals more about the intellectual context of French liberalism between the First and Second Empires than any other single work I know." Nineteenth-Century French Studies
"The late George Armstrong Kelly's Humane Comedy, pieced together from a nearly complete manuscript after his death, is not just a supremely elegant and immensely learned book but also, in its reserved, ironic way, stunningly profound." French Politics and Society
"Professor Kelley's book focuses...on liberalism. He examines with accomplished scholarship, sensitivity and elegance of style, and without modish jargon, the fissures and contradictions within it. The subject-matter is familiar but Kelley leaves us with a deeper understanding of the weaknesses of French liberalism as a political force, doomed to nearly a century of eclipse." The Times Literary Supplement
"...one of the great themes of this work is the startling connection between liberal views and religious belief....In this dazzling conclusion, Kelly has given us every reason to regret his passing and to measure the loss to scholarship." Stanley Mellon, American Historical Review
"Kelly's achievement greatly enhances our understanding of France's liberal intellectuals in the first half of the nineteenth century, who attempted to accomplish what their Enlightenment predecessors had sought to comprehend in their own search for the conditions making possible a free society. His success invites historians to appreciate the permanence and impermanence of all theory marshalled to create free peoples and nations." Canadian Journal of History

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