Political Thought in France from the Revolution to the Fourth Republic

Political Thought in France from the Revolution to the Fourth Republic

Political Thought in France from the Revolution to the Fourth Republic

Political Thought in France from the Revolution to the Fourth Republic

Excerpt

The present book is an essay in interpretation. Its main difficulty was the task of selecting and yet, at the same time, of presenting the wealth and uniqueness of French political thought from Sieyès to Georges Sorel.

An extensive bibliography provides the reader with a guide for further study. It is by no means complete.

Full use has been made of quotations to enable the reader to judge for himself whether my analysis is sound. I rather prefer this "medieval" method, which I learnt from Thomas Aquinas, in contrast to many contemporary writers who prefer the uncontrollable impressionist monologue.

Moreover, the sources (primary and secondary ones) are not easy to obtain now, and they may be even more difficult to obtain when the war is over. Thus, to some extent, the method of presentation attempts also to substitute for the student of political ideas the library which he may find difficult to possess or to use.

Finally, I wish to thank the publishers of a previous book of mine on Alexis de Tocqueville, Messrs. J. M. Dent & Sons, London, and the Viking Press, New York, for kindly allowing me to draw on material presented in this study. I am also indebted to many friends who either typed from a very difficult handwriting or helped me with invaluable criticisms and suggestions.

J. P. M.

Stoke Poges, Bucks.October 1942.

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