By delving into the religious, economic, social, and political attitudes and practices of the French bourgeoisie in the 18th century, Mrs. Barber dispels the idea that they were a revolutionary class bent on the destruction of the ancien régime. Instead, she reveals that only slowly and partially did they become antagonistic to the established society. Her particular attention is given to bourgeois feelings about, and chances for, social mobility. The book provides fresh insights into a familiar period, both in the wealth of information about the bourgeois class and in the use of sociological methods in a historical study. As an excellent example of a new and increasingly fruitful approach to history, it will interest both the historian and the social scientist.
Originally published in 1955.
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