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Citizens and Citoyens

Citizens and Citoyens

Republicans and Liberals in America and France

Mark Hulliung

ISBN 9780674009271

Publication date: 11/04/2002

In a tour de force of comparative intellectual history, Mark Hulliung sharply challenges conventional wisdom about the political nature of the "sister republics," America and France.

Hulliung argues that the standard American account of a continuous Jacobin republican tradition--"illiberal to the core"--is fatally misleading. In reality it was the nineteenth-century French liberals who undermined the cause of liberalism, and it was French republicans who eventually saved liberal ideals. And comparison with France provides compelling evidence that the American republic was from the beginning both liberal and republican; Americans have been engaged in the "right debate, wrong country." Antiliberal intellectuals--New Leftists, neoconservatives, and communitarians alike--have disfigured much of the "republican" scholarship by falsely conjuring up a history of the United States wherein rooted and moral republicans once held sway where today we encounter uprooted and amoral liberals.

Lively, stimulating, and sure to be controversial, Citizens and Citoyens is a valuable contribution to the political culture debate.


  • A superb work--well-written, pungent, and exemplary as a comparative study. Mark Hulliung shows in an erudite and convincing way that the same concepts--liberalism and republicanism, as well as rights--have had very different meanings and uses in America and France.

    —Stanley Hoffmann, Harvard University


  • 2003, Winner of the Gilbert Chinard Prize


  • Mark Hulliung is Richard Koret Professor of the History of Ideas, Brandeis University.

Book Details

  • 274 pages
  • 6-1/4 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press