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REVIEWS 221 the king'spapersmight not help the historianmuch. In compensation, the authordemonstrates hissuperbknowledge of the Risorgimento's memoirand epistolary literature. If thesituation comedy of theSavoyard CourtandParliamentremindsusof VictorianEngland,it is asmuchbecause of Mack Smith's virtuositywith detail as because of his Whiggishand etlmocentricframe of reference. (The book's onlypictureof King Victor Emmanuelis a sketch drawnby QueenVictoria.) The episodic qualityof the book- somechapters haveappeared elsewhere - parodies those pagineor momentiformatsthat were the heuristic deviceof patrioticroyalisthistorians. Still, chapters on parhamentarianism , federalism, the kingaswarrior,the king aschiefof state,and evena synthetic chapteron the Risorgimento itselfare valuableand richly written. Thereare,asin all theauthor's works, manyglimpses of thefascist apocalypse. Alreadyin the x84os , wearereminded, Cesare Balbofelt thateverygoodItalian would'gladlysacrifice Dante,Michelangelo, andRaphael,in returnfor a leader who couldlead them to military victory.'AlthoughMack Smith knowsmore aboutCavourthan anyotherEnglish-speaking historian, he doesnot helpthe rest of us much when he describes him as 'a liberal-minded conservative in politics.' Cavour,less equivocally, calledhimselfa 'moderato.' And thenthere istheCanadian priceof thebook,$24.00.In thiscountry,at least,onedoesn't havetolookfor goodhistory cheek byjowlwith thetikes of Spillane andRoth. R.F. HARNEY University ofToronto Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.•: The Modernity of the Eighteenth Century.Editedby •.oms?. Mx•c. Clevelandand London,The Press of Case WesternReserve University,•97•. PP-xxii, 243. $6.95. Thismodest book,containing theproceedings of thefirstmeeting of theAmerican Sodcryfor Eighteenth-Century Studies,focuses on the question of the 'modernit-/' of the eighteenth century.Modernit-/is a slipperyconcept,if for nootherreason thanit necessarily shifts with thepassage of time.StuartHampshiresuggests that themodernity of the centurymustreston certainpreoccupationsshared with ourtimes. A fewyears agoat a conference in AustraliaArthur Wilsonsought to provethemodemit-/ofthephilosophes by showing howmany concerns theyhadin common withrecent theorists ofmodernization. Butneither theorganizers of thisconference northeeditorof thisvolumehasmanaged to establish any suchanalyticalframework.The resultis a very incompleteand uneventreatmentof thequestion posed. To beginwith thereare hugegapsin the discussion. Various attemptsat reform- at streamlining administrative machinery,at improvingthe fiscal system, at completing economic unification, at promoting economic growth,at secularizing citizenship through toleration - couldbeviewedasefforts tomodernizethestate ,but suchattempts arenotevenmentioned. The floodof proposals foreducational institutions designed toproduce citizens prepared toserve society 222 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW contained manyfeatures common to our owncentury, but these plansarenot dlscu•d. Nationalism mademarkedprogress, especially in France,after the middleof thecentury,butnoonecites it. And theideaof progress maybeconsideredold hat, nevertheless it doesstill influenceMarxistsand other moderns, and concernoverman'searthlyfate doeslink the eighteenthcenturyto our own,butagainnoonerefers tothisconcern. The papers whichtreatthemodernity of the eighteenth centuryin various areas oftendosoonverynarrowgrounds. Irvin Ehrenpreis contends thatmost of the leadingliteraft werenot deeplyconcerned with the sufferings of the lowerclasses, whichif truewouldbea veryserious limitation ontheirmodernity, buthistreatment ofmajorFrenchwriters issuperficial andsecondhand, andhe ignores several radicalauthors who in somewaysanticipated later socialism. RobertSchofield denies thateighteenth-century science wasin anywaymodern because itsconcepts ofthermodynamics, electricity, andphysiology didnotreally anticipate those of thetwentieth century, whereas onecouldarguetheopposite onthebasis ofpreoccupation witha certainmethodology, thedesire to improve technology throughscience, theambitionto controltheenvironment, theclaim of scientific elites tohavethekeyto social problems, orthecampaign to expand scientific education in theschools. StuartHampshire finds a linkin philosophy in growingn concern overthealienation of civilized manfromhisnaturalenvironment ,a gapwhichKant tried to bridgeby establishing a middlezonein the realm of aesthetics, sothat what is modernnarrowsdown to the Critiqueof Judgment. RonaldPaulson, concentrating mainlyonthestructure of eighteenthcentury literaryworks, concludes thatonlyin Sterne wouldmodern writersfind thedisconnected worldin whichtheymightfeelat home.LesterCrockeruses manifestations of the irrationalasa criterionfor testingthe modernityof the century, a suggestive approach whichdeserves furtherinvestigation. Someof thebestpapers arenotdirectlyaimedat thequestion of modernity. JohnBosher offers a verysubtle andperceptive analysis ofAlfredCobban's views of the Enlightenment, but he avoidscriticizingCobban's arguments, someof whichwereverydubious, anapproach scarcely in thespiritof hismentor.Aran Vartanianpresents a fascinating account of theefforts of Fontenelle, Voltaire, and Diderotto bridgethe growinggap betweenthe impersonal universe described by science and the innerworld of humanvalues,effortsveryrelevant to ourdayevenif outdated in theircontent. RobertShackleton presents some interesting materialontheGrandTour, although hisapproach ismoredescriptive than analytical. Finally,GeraldStrakaprovides a very usefulanalysis of eighteenth-century attitudes towards theGlorious Revolution, tracingtheevolutionoftheconcept ofrevolution fromanimmutable monument toa transmutable toolfor achieving change. On thewholethiscollection isa valuablecontribution to eighteenth-century studies, although asanexamination ofthemodernity ofthatperiod it isextremely spotty. JA•II•S A. LEITH Queen's University ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 221-222
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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