The Marquis de Condorcet was one of the few Enlightenment ideologists to witness the French Revolution and participate as an elected politician at the centre of events during France's transition from monarchy to republic. Condorcet and Modernity explores the interaction between Condorcet's political theory, legislative pragmatism, public policy proposals and the management of change. David Williams examines key topics including rights, the civil order, the church, the slave trade, women's civil rights, judicial reform, voting and representation, economics, monarchy, power and revolution. He explores the complex links between Condorcet as the visionary ideologist and Condorcet as the pragmatic legislator, and between Condorcet's concept of modernity - the application of 'social arithmetic' to government policies. Based on an extensive array of both printed and manuscript sources, this major contribution to enlightenment studies is the first full treatment of Condorcet's politics to appear in English for a generation.
"A superb study of a thinker long neglected. Highly recommended." C.E. Butterworth, University of Maryland College Park, CHOICE "Williams's study is a solid and valuable one." History Review of New Books "Based on an extensive array of printed and original manuscript sources, William's analysis of Condorcet's politics is a major contribution to Enlightenment studies. The book is thoroughly documented, annotated, and includes an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources." - Andrzej Dziedzic, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh "A great virtue of David William's account of Condorcet is that he brings clearly into focus both hsi free-trade economic theories and his political thought (including his relationship with Thomas Jefferson and other American founding fathers). These aspects have in the past often been dealth with in isolation." - Jonathan israel, Institute for Advanced Study The Historian