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The Humane Comedy
Constant, Tocqueville, and French Liberalism


Stephen R. Graubard
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  • Date Published: January 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521030724

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • A study of French liberalism in the first half of the nineteenth century and its continuing relevance to political theory and practice
    • The book is an interesting blend of political theory, biography, and intellectual and political history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521030724
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.426kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Stephen R. Graubard
    1. Ports in the storm
    2. Constant versus Tocqueville
    3. In partibus fidelium
    4. Philosophy as civil religion
    5. Lamartine, liberalism's fallen angel
    6. Parnassian liberalism

  • Author

    George Armstrong Kelly, The Johns Hopkins University

    Preface by

    Stephen R. Graubard


    Stephen R. Graubard

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