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Educational Philosophy in the French Enlightenment

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Natasha Gill, "Educational Philosophy in the French Enlightenment"
English | 2010 | ISBN-10: 0754662896 | 304 pages | PDF | 4 MB

Educational Philosophy in the French Enlightenment
Though Emile is still considered the central pedagogical text of the French Enlightenment, a myriad of lesser-known thinkers paved the way for Rousseau's masterpiece. Natasha Gill traces the arc of these thinkers as they sought to reveal the correlation between early childhood experiences and the success or failure of social and political relations, and set the terms for the modern debate about the influence of nature and nurture in individual growth and collective life. Gill offers a comprehensive analysis of the rich cross-fertilization between educational and philosophical thought in the French Enlightenment. She begins by showing how in Some Thoughts Concerning Education John Locke set the stage for the French debate by transposing key themes from his philosophy into an educational context. Her treatment of the abbe Claude Fleury, the rector of the University of Paris Charles Rollin, and Swiss educator Jean-Pierre de Crousaz illustrates the extent to which early Enlightenment theorists reevaluated childhood and learning methods on the basis of sensationist psychology. Etienne-Gabriel Morelly, usually studied as a marginal thinker in the history of utopian thought, is here revealed as the most important precursor to Rousseau, and the first theorist to claim education as the vehicle through which individual liberation, social harmony and political unity could be achieved. Gill concludes with an analysis of the educational-philosophical dispute between Helvetius and Rousseau, and traces the influence of pedagogical theory on the political debate surrounding the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1762.

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Eccentricity and the Cultural Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Paris

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Miranda Gill "Eccentricity and the Cultural Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Paris"
Oxford University Press | English | 2009-03-15 | ISBN: 0199543283 | 320 pages | PDF | 3 MB

Eccentricity and the Cultural Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Paris
What did it mean to call someone 'eccentric' in nineteenth-century Paris? And why did breaking with convention arouse such ambivalent responses in middle-class readers, writers, and spectators? From high society to Bohemia and the demi-monde to the madhouse, the scandal of nonconformism provoked anxiety, disgust, and often secre yearning. In a culture preoccupied by the need for order ye simultaneously drawn to the values of freedom and innovation, eccentricity continually tested the boundaries of bourgeois identity, ultimately becoming inseparable from it. This interdisciplinary study charts shifting French perceptions of the anomalous and bizarre from the 1830s to the fin de siecle, focusing on three key issues. First, during the July Monarchy eccentricity was linked to fashion dandyism, and commodity culture; to many Parisians it epitomized the dangerous seductions of modernity and the growing prestige of the courtesan. Second, in the aftermath of the 1848 Revolution eccentricity was associated with the Bohemian artists and performers who inhabited 'the unknown Paris', a zone of social exclusion which middle-class spectators found both fascinating and repugnant. Finally, the popularization of medical theories of national decline in the latter part of the century led to decreasing tolerance for individual difference, and eccentricity was interpreted as a symptom of hidden insanity and deformity. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including etiquette manuals, fashion magazines, newspapers, novels, and psychiatric treatises, the study highlights the central role of gender in shaping perceptions of eccentricity. It provides new readings of works by major French writers and illuminates both well-known and neglected figures of Parisian modernity, from the courtesan and Bohemian to the female dandy and circus freak.
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An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945

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An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945 by Anton Gill
English | December 22, 2014 | ISBN: 0805035141, 080503515X | ASIN: B00RDBXUWO | 297 Pages | EPUB/MOBI/AZW3/PDF (Converted) | 5 MB
The numbers were small, and their cause hopeless. Scattered across the landscape that was Nazi Germany, the Resistance looked puny: too little, too late. And yet it was made of many heroic men and women who were not afraid to risk their lives to stand up to a regime they knew was wrong.

An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945
For those who have never known life under such a regime, it is hard to grasp the daily terror that makes an act of political graffiti a capital offense, that labels resistance "treason."

Now, drawing on archival materials and on interviews with those few resisters who survived, Anton Gill brings their story to light.

Here are union leaders and businessmen, priests and communists, students and factory workers; above all, here are the only people who had any real chance at more than symbolic resistance: those in the Army, the Foreign Office, the Abwehr.

For these, obeying the dictates of conscience meant betraying the demands of government, and every day brought the risk of denunciation and death.

A sober and useful analysis of the resistance to Hitler [that] reminds us of the astonishing moral courage human beings can displayThe vast majority of Germans simply did not have the bravery to stand up to Hitler – but then who among us, confronted with the brutality of that regime, would have mustered the courage?' – Robert Harris, author of Fatherland, in The Sunday Times

Mr. Gill fluidly conveys the attitudes and personalities of key figures in the resistance and the links among them.' – The New York Times Book Review

Gill's illuminating study cogently argues that Hitler was not an irresistible force and that he succeeded only because he was allowed to.' – Publishers Weekly

Anton Gill has been a freelance writer since 1984, specialising in European contemporary history but latterly branching out into historical fiction. He is the winner of the H H Wingate Award for non-fiction for his study of survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, The Journey Back From Hell'.
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