From Library Journal
Goodman (history, Louisiana State Univ.) aims to re-create the social and cultural context in which the ideas of the Enlightenment were created and spread. Drawing from the work of Jurgen Habermas (The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, MIT Pr., 1989), she traces the creation of a public intellectual community in France from the 17th century and explains its development through the French Revolution. Challenging traditional Enlightenment historiography, Goodman describes the Enlightenment as a set of social practices in which both men and women participated. She argues that historians have not taken a positive or serious view of the role of the salonnieres. The 1780s, however, saw the emergence of new intellectual institutions in which women were not as central, and an age of "masculine self governance" was born. A difficult but important book that will appeal to scholars of French history and culture.Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll.,
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"Fascinating. . . Rarely does one encounter such a persuasive and startling exposition of the ways inattention to gender and assumptions about women have shaped history."—Journal of Women's History