Society, Theory and the French Revolution

Studies in the Revolutionary Imaginary

  • Authors
  • Brian C. J. Singer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction: History and the Revolutionary Imaginary

  3. Revolution and Knowledge

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 34-48
  4. Revolution and Power

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
    2. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 51-54
    3. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 55-64
    4. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 65-70
    5. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 71-89
  5. Designating the Nation

  6. Constructing the State

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 127-132
    3. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 133-151
    4. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 152-160
    5. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 161-179
    6. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 180-201
    7. Brian C. J. Singer
      Pages 202-204
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 205-236

About this book


This is a very different book about the French Revolution of 1789-94. The concern is less with a change in society than a change in the relation that a society establishes with itself. Here the focus is on society's presentation (and representation) considered not simply from the perspective of a few privileged intellectuals, but as a social and historical process inseparable from the institution of society's political dimension. Through a close reading of the revolutionary texts of the period, the author is able to trace behind the surface of events and conflict themes of a more abstract, fundamental character - themes relative to the 'discovery' of society, the construction of the nation-state, and what for the revolutionaries was the scandal of their separation. While retaining a fidelity to the eighteenth century, this book opens up new theoretical perspectives that illuminate the character of both a certain revolutionary heritage and a more general political modernity.


democracy eighteenth century enlightenment history ideology nation Privileg revolution

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1986
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-18363-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-349-18361-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site