11 July 2017

Stuff and money in the time of the French Revolution

Rebecca L Spang
2015, Harvard University Press, 350 pages,
ISBN 0674047036

Reviewer: William A Allen

Rebecca Spang’s account of the financial aspects of the French Revolution draws attention to several under-appreciated facts. For one thing, the objectives of the revolutionaries were in important respects what would now be called neo-liberal. They attached immense importance to economic freedom, notably freedom of contract, and to repayment of state debts, even those debts whose legitimacy…

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