Policing Public Opinion in the French Revolution: The Culture of Calumny and the Problem of Free Speech

By Charles Walton | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

If this study succeeds in shedding light on the freedom of expression during the French Revolution, it is thanks to the ideas and opinions others have shared freely with me over the years. My greatest thanks go to Robert Darnton, my dissertation advisor, who has followed the progress of this project from its earliest stages. His incisive comments and support, not to mention his own work, have been immensely helpful. I also owe many thanks to David Bell, who has read several drafts of this study, offering useful insights each time. Phil Nord and Peter Lake read this work in its form as a dissertation and provided valuable suggestions. I am indebted to them both.

I would also like to convey my gratitude to my undergraduate mentors, Carla Hesse and Susanna Barrows, who inspired my interest in French cultural history at the University of California, Berkeley. Unsurprisingly, it was in Berkeley—a place where controversies and struggles over free speech never seem to exhaust themselves—that I became interested in the issue. It was mostly in France, however, that this project developed, and I owe Paul Cohen—cohort from Princeton, camarade in Paris—enormous thanks for his frequent and careful readings of my work. Stephen Clay deserves thanks for alerting me to the importance of calumny during the Revolution and for sharing his archival expertise when I was still trying to figure out how to read an inventory. I am grateful to Alan Forrest and Dena Goodman for their kindness and generosity in helping me get past some obstacles early on in the project.

Several friends and colleagues have read and commented on earlier drafts of all or parts of this book, and I would like to express my gratitude to them all: Julia Abramson, David Andress, Mihaela Bacou, Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia, Charly Coleman, Jennifer Heuer, Russell Jacoby, Andrew Jainchill, Lucien Jaume, Colin Jones, Nina Kushner, Thomas Kaiser, Laura Mason, Anne McCall, John Merriman, Joel Migdal, Cristina Nehring, Jeremy Popkin, Robert Post, Allan

-vii-

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