Volume VI of Voegelin's account of the history of Western political ideas continues from the point reached in the previous volume with the study of the mystic-philosopher Jean Bodin. Voegelin begins with a discussion of the conflict between Bishop Bossuet and Voltaire concerning the relationship between what is conventionally identified as sacred history and profane history. Bossuet maintained the traditional Christian position, the origin of which may be traced to Saint Augustine's City of God. Voegelin shows, however, that while Bossuet may have been heir to an adequate understanding of human existence, Voltaire drew attention to a series of historical facts, such as the comparative size of the Russian and Roman empires, the existence of Chinese civilization, and the discovery of the New World, that could be incorporated into Bossuet's account only with great difficulty or not at all.
For the first time, the theoretical problem of the historicity of evocative symbols of political order becomes the focus of Voegelin's analysis. This major problem, which found a provisional solution in the New Science of Vico, was intertwined with several additional ones that may be summarized in terms of an increasing closure toward what Voegelin calls the world- transcendent ground of reality. Voegelin traces the consequences of the new attitudes and sentiments in terms of an increasing disorientation in personal, social, and political life, a disorientation that was expressed in increasingly impoverished experiences and accounts of history and of nature.
Vico represents the great exception to this decline in the intellectual adequacy of modern political ideas and modern self- understanding. Readers familiar with Voegelin's New Science of Politics will find in the long, challenging, and brilliant chapter on Vico and his New Science one of the major textual analyses that sustained Voegelin's entire intellectual enterprise. Indeed, the chapter on Vico, along with similarly provocative and insightful chapters on Bodin and on Schelling in other volumes, may almost be read as an element of Voegelin's own spiritual autobiography.
Early American Quakers have long been perceived as retiring separatists, but in Holy Nation Sarah Crabtree transforms our historical understanding of the sect by drawing on the sermons, diaries, and correspondence of Quakers themselves. Situating Quakerism within the larger intellectual and religious undercurrents of the Atlantic World, Crabtree shows how Quakers forged a paradoxical sense of their place in the world as militant warriors fighting for peace. She argues that during the turbulent Age of Revolution and Reaction, the Religious Society of Friends forged a “holy nation,” a transnational community of like-minded believers committed first and foremost to divine law and to one another. Declaring themselves citizens of their own nation served to underscore the decidedly unholy nature of the nation-state, worldly governments, and profane laws. As a result, campaigns of persecution against the Friends escalated as those in power moved to declare Quakers aliens and traitors to their home countries.
Holy Nation convincingly shows that ideals and actions were inseparable for the Society of Friends, yielding an account of Quakerism that is simultaneously a history of the faith and its adherents and a history of its confrontations with the wider world. Ultimately, Crabtree argues, the conflicts experienced between obligations of church and state that Quakers faced can illuminate similar contemporary struggles.
An epic account of the House of Orange-Nassau over one hundred and fifty years of European history.
Three rulers from the House of Orange-Nassau reigned over the Netherlands from 1813 to 1890: King William I from 1813 to 1840, King William II from 1840 to 1849, and King William III from 1849 to 1890. Theirs is an epic tale of joy and tragedy, progress and catastrophe, disappointment and glory—all set against the backdrop of a Europe plagued by war and revolution.
The House of Orange in Revolution and War relates one and a half centuries of House of Orange history in a gripping narrative, leading the reader from the last stadholders of the Dutch Republic to the modern monarchy of the early twentieth century, from the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars to World War I and the European Revolutions that came after it.
Written During the Ascension of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, an investigation of the Methods of Revolutionary Change
The first third of the twentieth century saw a seismic upheaval in global politics and society that still reverberates today. Communism and fascism toppled both traditional monarchies and representative democracies, while trade unions and other factions effectively challenged existing governments to adopt reforms or face crippling economic or social upheaval. Given these extraordinary events, Raymond Postgate set forth in How to Make a Revolution to objectively discuss revolutionary methods, and which tactics or strategies are the most effective. Drawing on his own idealistic experience as a young labor agitator and editor of a communist newspaper and more than fifteen years of close study of past revolutionary history and theories, the author dispassionately discusses Marxism, fascism, anarchism, and Blanquism (a doctrine within socialism), as well as syndicalism and industrial unionism. He then reviews revolutionary practice, including general strikes, financial pressure, armed revolution, and communist tactics, and ends with a prescient and frightening conclusion: without general consensus and determination, a peaceful revolution is impossible, and “if no action is taken, action of another kind will be taken for us. . . . The continuance of uncertainty will mean that the disillusioned will drift steadily across to a Fascist organization. Fascism means war; the character of a Fascist State is fairly well known. Once it is established, those who read, who write, who publish or who print, books like this are likely to be dead or in concentration camps.” Originally published in 1934, Postgate’s book was heralded for its clarity and scholarship.
Humphry Repton (1752–1818) remains one of England’s most interesting and prolific garden and landscape designers. Renowned for his innovative design proposals and distinctive before-and-after images, captured in his famous “Red Books,” Repton’s astonishing career represents the link between the simple parklands of his predecessor Capability Brown and the more elaborate, structured, and formal landscapes of the Victorian age. This lavishly illustrated book, based on a wealth of new research, reinterprets Repton’s life, working methods, and designs, and examines why they proved so popular in a rapidly changing world.