"This thoughtful study for several significant French political thinkers will be highly useful in general for students of comparative politics, and in particular for French Studies undergraduates opting for courses on French political thought. Dr. Addinall who throughout displays an easy mastery of his chosen material, focuses on the crucial elements in each thinker's writings, over four centuries of French history. He analyses their often knotty arguments with care and lucidity, and he writes in a pleasing, user-friendly, and balanced manner. He remembers to stress traditions, continuities, and cross-fertilization between thinkers, as well as antagonisms between contrasting political viewpoints. He fully justifies his selection of thinkers, and the result is a well-knit study of major currents of French political thought. His concluding chapter establishes the continuing relevance of all of these writers for present day political discussion." - Professor Walter Redfern, French Department, Reading University; "This well-written book is designed to appeal to a wide readership and will undoubtedly prove invaluable to students and non-specialists alike. Concentrating on those writers who tended to adopt an extreme position in defending or attacking absolutism, Dr. Addinall shows clearly the perennial tension between the two tendencies, starting with views of absolutism as first fully-defined from the 17th century onwards and echoed in the 19th and 20th centuries, opposed by other writers from 18th and 19th centuries who claimed to speak for the general will of the people. Dr Addinall makes the concepts involved fully accessible to the ordinary reader through a clear analysis and description of salient features of primary texts by a number of key thinkers....Exploring the history of an important political divide, Dr. Addinall rightly points out that modern republican France has moved on....Through his clear and efficient pressentation of major themes of the past, Dr. Addinall also furthers our understanding of France today." - Dr. Christopher Todd, Reader, French Department, University of Leeds"
About the Author
Dr. Nigel Addinall received his doctorate from the University of Reading and a Licence es Lettres from the University of Bordeaux while teaching there. He currently teaches in the French Department at the University of Wales, Swansea.