'Mr Wernick's book on August Comte is brilliant. ... (He) succeeds admirably in placing Comte's religion in the context of his time and in the history of social theory in France. ... This book will give any reader pause to reflect on the distinctiveness of French social theory, the problem of defining a community, and the relationship between politics and religion in both its theistic and post-theistic forms.' Mary Pickering, San Jose State University, California
This book offers an exciting re-interpretation of Auguste Comte, the founder of French sociology. Andrew Wernick provides the first in-depth critique of Comte's concept of religion and its place in his thinking on politics, sociology and philosophy of science. He places Comte's ideas within post-1789 French political and intellectual history, and of modern philosophy, especially postmodernism. Wernick relates Comte to Marx and Nietzsche as seminal figures of modernity and examines key features of modern and postmodern French social theory, tracing the inherent flaws and disintegration of Comte's system.