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Work and Revolution in France: The Language of Labor from the Old Regime to 1848 Paperback – October 31, 1980

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0521299510 ISBN-10: 0521299519 Edition: 1St Edition

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Editorial Reviews


'This is one of the rare books that succeed in marrying ideas and events, respecting the autonomy of each, and examining their influence upon each other in a thoroughly convincing way. It's interest therefore transcends its immediate subject and it should appeal to anyone concerned about how things happen in history. At the same time it provides a lucid and original account of the evolution of the French urban worker artisan, through sans-culotte, to class-conscious proletarian ... It is an important book that students are going to need - and enjoy - for a long time to come.' Norman Hampson, University of York

Book Description

Sewell synthesizes the material on the social history of the French labor movement from its formative period to the first half of the 19th century. Centers on the Revolutions of 1789, 1830 and 1848.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1St Edition edition (October 31, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521299519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521299510
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Canellis on January 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
William H. Sewell argues that the analysis of early nineteenth century French labor idiom reveals its roots were firmly established in Ancien Regime artisan   corporations. Revealing what the author calls a "little- noticed paradox," Sewell discovered "the discourse of revolutionary workers of 1848 was laced with seemingly archaic terminology dating from the guild and corporate system of the old regime ... founded on a very old sense of craft community." Although intended to incorporate the elements of social history and langage, Sewell adds that a thorough understanding of the overall political perspective is essential to this well-rounded study. His argument is convincing and his methods, at the time of publication, must have shed new light on the historical profession. Sewell is up front about the limitations of his study and the methods he incorporates, however. Admitting he prefers to avoid existing historiographical debates, the author stresses he is "attempting to sketch out a new map that will indicate relations between already explored regions and suggest useful approaches to those not yet explored." Pointing out that historical evidence of labor, particularly in France, is primarily confined to the local or regional level; Sewell stresses the need to incorporate an overall political ideology into the mix. Paradoxically, however, Sewell warns that political ideology emanating from Paris   may not necessarily reflect the thoughts of workers in rural regions of France. In addition, the authorl borrows methods from cultural anthropology to illustrate how such practices as religious festivals shaped peoples ideas and experiences, yet warns that not all sociological practices, such as ethnography, for instance, benefit the historian.Read more ›
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Work and Revolution in France: The Language of Labor from the Old Regime to 1848
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