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June 13 , 2008

French Liberalism in the 19th Century

An Anthology


Political and economic liberalism has generally been considered to be of marginal import in France, but at an intellectual level, it is a different story. An exploration of the history of French economic thought shows how a rich intellectual tradition developed during the nineteenth century, which has been previously neglected in English language studies of French thinking. In this important new collection, Robert Leroux brings together key works, both from widely regarded and lesser known authors, whose thinking constituted the core of a singular intellectual movement. These include such figures as Charles Dunoyer, Joseph Garnier, Gustave de Molinari, Yves Guyot, Alexis de Tocqueville, Benjamin Constant and Frédéric Bastiat.

Including several works that have never before been published in English, this anthology begins with a full introduction that provides an overview of liberal thought in the nineteenth century, and each text is preceded by a biographical note on the author, and an explanation of the wider significance of the text. This anthology, by bringing to the fore a number of writers and doctrinal positions, seeks to give a coherence, an overall cast to French liberalism without exaggerating its unity. It will be of interest to economists, political scientists, historians, philosophers and sociologists alike.




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