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As If God Existed

Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy

Maurizio Viroli

Religion and liberty are often thought to be mutual enemies: if religion has a natural ally, it is authoritarianism--not republicanism or democracy. But in this book, Maurizio Viroli, a leading historian of republican political thought, challenges this conventional wisdom. He argues that political emancipation and the defense of political liberty have always required the self-sacrifice of people with religious sentiments and a religious devotion to liberty. This is particularly the case when liberty is threatened by authoritarianism: the staunchest defenders of liberty are those who feel a deeply religious commitment to it.

Viroli makes his case by reconstructing, for the first time, the history of the Italian "religion of liberty," covering its entire span but focusing on three key examples of political emancipation: the free republics of the late Middle Ages, the Risorgimento of the nineteenth century, and the antifascist Resistenza of the twentieth century. In each example, Viroli shows, a religious spirit that regarded moral and political liberty as the highest goods of human life was fundamental to establishing and preserving liberty. He also shows that when this religious sentiment has been corrupted or suffocated, Italians have lost their liberty.

This book makes a powerful and provocative contribution to today's debates about the compatibility of religion and republicanism.

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Assassins and Conspirators

Anarchism, Socialism, and Political Culture in Imperial Germany

Over the course of the German Empire the Social Democrats went from being a vilified and persecuted minority to becoming the largest party in the Reichstag, enjoying broad-based support. But this was not always the case. In the 1870s, government mouthpieces branded Social Democracy the “party of assassins and conspirators” and sought to excite popular fury against it. Over time, Social Democrats managed to refashion their public image in large part by contrasting themselves to anarchists, who came to represent a politics that went far beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Social Democrats emphasized their overall commitment to peaceful change through parliamentary participation and a willingness to engage their political rivals. They condemned anarchist behavior—terrorism and other political violence specifically—and distanced themselves from the alleged anarchist personal characteristics of rashness, emotionalism, cowardice, and secrecy. Repeated public debate about the appropriate place of Socialism in German society, and its relationship to anarchist terrorism, helped Socialists and others, such as liberals, political Catholics, and national minorities, cement the principles of legal equality and a vigorous public sphere in German political culture.
 
Using a diverse array of primary sources from newspapers and political pamphlets to Reichstag speeches to police reports on anarchist and socialist activity, this book sets the history of Social Democracy within the context of public political debate about democracy, the rule of law, and the appropriate use of state power. Gabriel also places the history of German anarchism in the larger contexts of German history and the history of European socialism, where its importance has often been understated because of the movement’s small size and failure to create a long-term mass movement.
 

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Assemblies and Representation in Languedoc in the Thirteenth Century

Thomas N. Bisson

The book description for "Assemblies and Representation in Languedoc in the Thirteenth Century" is currently unavailable.

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At the First Table

Food and Social Identity in Early Modern Spain

Jodi Campbell

Research on European food culture has expanded substantially in recent years, telling us more about food preparation, ingredients, feasting and fasting rituals, and the social and cultural connotations of food.

At the First Table demonstrates the ways in which early modern Spaniards used food as a mechanism for the performance of social identity. People perceived themselves and others as belonging to clearly defined categories of gender, status, age, occupation, and religion, and each of these categories carried certain assumptions about proper behavior and appropriate relationships with others. Food choices and dining customs were effective and visible ways of displaying these behaviors in the choreography of everyday life. In contexts from funerals to festivals to their treatment of the poor, Spaniards used food to display their wealth, social connections, religious affiliation, regional heritage, and membership in various groups and institutions and to reinforce perceptions of difference.

Research on European food culture has been based largely on studies of England, France, and Italy, but more locally on Spain. Jodi Campbell combines these studies with original research in household accounts, university and monastic records, and municipal regulations to provide a broad overview of Spanish food customs and to demonstrate their connections to identity and social change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

 

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At Zero Point

Discourse, Culture, and Satire in Restoration England

Rose A. Zimbardo

At Zero Point presents an entirely new way of looking at Restoration culture, discourse, and satire. The book locates a rupture in English culture and epistemology not at the end of the eighteenth century (when it occurred in France) but at the end of the seventeenth century. Rose Zimbardo's hypothesis is based on Hans Blumenberg's concept of "zero point" -- the moment when an epistemology collapses under the weight of questions it has itself raised and simultaneously a new epistemology begins to construct itself. Zimbardo demonstrates that the Restoration marked both the collapse of the Renaissance order and the birth of modernism (with its new conceptions of self, nation, gender, language, logic, subjectivity, and reality). Using satire as the site for her investigation, Zimbardo examines works by Rochester, Oldham, Wycherley, and the early Swift for examples of Restoration deconstructive satire that, she argues, measure the collapse of Renaissance epistemology. Constructive satire, as exemplified in works by Dryden, has at its discursive center the "I" from which all order arises to be projected to the external world. No other book treats Restoration culture or satire in this way.

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Atheism in France, 1650-1729

The Orthodox Sources of Disbelief

Alan Charles Kors

Although most historians have sought the roots of atheism in the history of "free thought," Alan Charles Kors contends that attacks on the existence of God were generated above all by the vitality and controversies of orthodox theistic culture itself. In this first volume of a planned two-volume inquiry into the sources and nature of atheism, he shows that orthodox teachers and apologists in seventeenth-century France were obliged by the logic of their philosophical and pedagogical systems to create many models of speculative atheism for heuristic purposes. Unusual in its broad sampling of the religious literature of the early-modern learned world, this book reveals that the "great fratricide" among bitterly competing schools of Aristotelian, Cartesian, and Malebranchist Christian thought encouraged theologians to refute each other's proofs of God and to depict the ideas of their theological opponents as atheistic. Such "fratricide" was not new in the history of Christendom, but Kors demonstrates that its influence was dramatically amplified by the expanding literacy of the seventeenth century. Capturing the attention of the reading public, theological debate provided intellectual grounds for the disbelief of the first generation of atheistic thinkers.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Au Naturel

Naturism, Nudism, and Tourism in Twentieth-Century France

Stephen L. Harp

Each year in France approximately 1.5 million people practice naturisme or "naturism," an activity more commonly referred to as "nudism." Because of France's unique tolerance for public nudity, the country also hosts hundreds of thousands of nudists from other European nations, an influx that has contributed to the most extensive infrastructure for nude tourism in the world. In Au Naturel, historian Stephen L. Harp explores how the evolution of European tourism encouraged public nudity in France, connecting this cultural shift with important changes in both individual behaviors and collective understandings of the body, morality, and sexuality.

Harp's study, the first in-depth historical analysis of nudism in France, challenges widespread assumptions that "sexual liberation" freed people from "repression," a process ostensibly reflected in the growing number of people practicing public nudity. Instead, he contends, naturism gained social acceptance because of the bodily control required to participate in it. New social codes emerged governing appropriate nudist behavior, including where one might look, how to avoid sexual excitation, what to wear when cold, and whether even the most modest displays of affection -- -including hand-holding and pecks on the cheek -- were permissible between couples.

Beginning his study in 1927 -- when naturist doctors first advocated nudism in France as part of "air, water, and sun cures" -- Harp focuses on the country's three earliest and largest nudist centers: the �le du Levant in the Var, Montalivet in the Gironde, and the Cap d'Agde in H�rault. These places emerged as thriving tourist destinations, Harp shows, because the municipalities -- by paradoxically reinterpreting inde-cency as a way to foster European tourism to France -- worked to make public nudity more acceptable.

Using the French naturist movement as a lens for examining the evolving notions of the body and sexuality in twentieth-century Europe, Harp reveals how local practices served as agents of national change.

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The Austro-Marxists 1890--1918

A Psychobiographical Study

Mark E. Blum

In the brilliant world of Vienna at the turn of the century four men -- Karl Renner, Otto Bauer, Max Adler, and Friedrich Adler -- sought to develop political and economic resolutions to the racial and cultural tensions that were beginning to strain the bonds of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In this highly original study of these Austro-Marxists, Mark E. Blum uses the insights of depth psychology to trace the roots of their political philosophy in their family and social backgrounds. The Austro-Marxists 1890--1918 is the first book to offer a systematic examination of the thought and milieu of these four thinkers. The only major work on the subject in English, it is a significant contribution to the history of European socialism and, in particular, to the development of Marxist thought outside Russia.

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Authors of Their Lives

The Personal Correspondence of British Immigrants to North America in the Nineteenth Century

David Gerber

2008 United States Postal System's Rita Lloyd Moroney Award

In the era before airplanes and e-mail, how did immigrants keep in touch with loved ones in their homelands, as well as preserve links with pasts that were rooted in places from which they voluntarily left? Regardless of literacy level, they wrote letters, explains David A. Gerber in this path-breaking study of British immigrants to the U.S. and Canada who wrote and received letters during the nineteenth century.

Scholars have long used immigrant letters as a lens to examine the experiences of immigrant groups and the communities they build in their new homelands. Yet immigrants as individual letter writers have not received significant attention; rather, their letters are often used to add color to narratives informed by other types of sources.

Authors of Their Lives analyzes the cycle of correspondence between immigrants and their homelands, paying particular attention to the role played by letters in reformulating relationships made vulnerable by separation. Letters provided sources of continuity in lives disrupted by movement across vast spaces that disrupted personal identities, which depend on continuity between past and present. Gerber reveals how ordinary artisans, farmers, factory workers, and housewives engaged in correspondence that lasted for years and addressed subjects of the most profound emotional and practical significance.

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Bacchus and Civic Order

The Culture of Drink in Early Modern Germany

Ann B. Tlusty

In Bacchus and Civic Order, Ann Tlusty examines the social and cultural functions served by drinking and tavern life in Germany between 1500 and 1700, and challenges existing theories about urban identity, sociability, and power. Through her reconstruction of the social history of Augsburg, from beggars to council members, Tlusty also sheds light on such diverse topics as social ritual, gender and household relations, medical practice, and the concerns of civic leaders with public health and poverty. Drunkenness, dueling, and other forms of tavern comportment that may appear "disorderly" to us today turn out to be the inevitable, even desirable result of a society functioning according to its own rules.

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