Cover: The Post-Revolutionary Self: Politics and Psyche in France, 1750–1850, from Harvard University PressCover: The Post-Revolutionary Self in PAPERBACK

The Post-Revolutionary Self

Politics and Psyche in France, 1750–1850

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Product Details


$31.50 • £25.95 • €28.50

ISBN 9780674027695

Publication Date: 03/31/2008


430 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

6 halftones


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This is an extraordinary work of intellectual history, thoroughly researched, exciting to read, and insightful. Goldstein, like Foucault, aims at nothing less than an histoire totale.—Tom Conner, French Review

This important book intervenes in several historigraphical debates with the commanding air of an author sure of her sources while equally cognizant of their limits… This elegant, deeply researched book convincingly grounds three different theories of the psyche in the politics of their day.—Jo Burr Margadant, American Historical Review

It is impossible in a short review to do justice to this intelligent and engaging book. It is full of interesting anecdotal detail and, at the same time, rich in complex philosophical ideas… Goldstein has at her command the intellectual resources of a post-Cousinian world, among them the work of Foucault and Freud. And she uses them to great advantage in the writing of this impressively researched and cogently argued book.—Joan Scott, Journal of Modern History

The research is truly impressive in its scope and depth; the intellectual range and breadth of perspective are outstanding; the writing is limpid, the exposition elegant, the argument forceful throughout. Bold and original, the book will be seen as a fundamental contribution to European intellectual history and to our understanding of the modern idea of self.—Keith Baker, Stanford University

A singularly lucid and original study of how public and private spheres, politics and psyche, fused in post-Revolutionary France. Goldstein shows us the micro-mechanics of how generations of educated, middle-class Frenchmen came to understand their inner life and essence in terms supplied and enforced by new institutions. This remarkable book is a model for a new kind of history which understands politics from the inside out and psyche from the outside in.—Lorraine Daston, Director, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

Goldstein’s book shows in a remarkable way how politics, the philosophy of the human mind, and an educational system interacted to create a new sense of what it is to be a human being. It matters to more than history. Today’s discussions of ‘consciousness’ and ‘the self’ too often suppose that items such as these—and, for example, imagination—are timeless elements of the human condition. Goldstein’s work shows how strongly they have been formed by forgotten events in our past.—Ian Hacking, Collège de France

Awards & Accolades

  • 2005 David H. Pinkney Prize, Society for French Historical Studies
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