The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in Cultural History

Robert Darnton, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (393p) ISBN 978-0-393-02753-2
When bishop Antoine Lamourette, a deputy in the French Revolution, proposed fraternal love as the key to uniting divided factions, his speech moved members of the legislative assembly to hugs and kisses. Taking this event as a starting point, Darnton ( The Great Cat Massacre ) ponders ``what was so revolutionary'' about the Revolution in an essay that serves as a welcome antidote to the current spate of revisionist histories of that upheaval. An uneven mix of popular and specialized academic writings, this collection is best displaying Darnton's willingness to delve beneath the surface of events. One piece shows how the power structure of the New York Times helps determine ``all the news that's fit to print.'' Other articles explore the historical consciousness of Poland's Solidarity members, how the media interpret the past, crime and popular literature during the Enlightenment, a history of reading habits. There's also a tongue-in-cheek survival guide for unpublished authors. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-393-30752-8
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