Tags » Robert Darnton

Thoughts on reading Jonathan Israel: On the origins of the French Revolution

Never one to hide his light under a bushel, Jonathan Israel comes out swinging in his recent work, Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from the ‘Rights of Man’ to Robespierre… 548 more words

French Revolution

The Great Cat Massacre: History and Comedy

Sadistic violence against innocent cats? A symbolic gesture of class resistance? The funniest thing that ever happened in 1730s Paris – or even all three? In this article our Deputy Editor… 1,239 more words

Front Page

Thoughts on Charlie Hebdo, Molière, and Carl Jung: where does a fearless – heedless – sense of vocation originate?

Still finding it hard to put the Charlie Hebdo victims out of mind, to get work done – because so many of them look like writer, journalist and artist friends of… 1,215 more words

Culture After Gutenberg

GORDON CROVITZ: Defending Satire to the Death

Wall Street Journal: Moderate Muslims are most in need of a robust defense of free speech, especially if it offends.

‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” wrote biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall, summing up the view of her subject, Voltaire. 70 more words


Book History as a Sub-Division of History

Book history is no more than the latest minor sub-division of history; after an initial flurry of excitement it will find a similar level of importance as the history of medicine or the history of ideas. 1,315 more words

Book History

The Case for Books, or; Bookcase

Robert Darnton, at the time he wrote The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future, was a historian, former Princeton professor and director of the Harvard Library. 1,176 more words

Book Review


~ The United States Constitution – Article 1, section 8, establishes copyright and patents “for limited times” only and subject to the higher purpose of promoting “the progress of science and useful arts” – as the authors of the Constitution knew, copyright was created in Great Britain by the Statue of Anne in 1710 for the purpose of curbing the monopolistic practices of the London Stationers’ Company and also, as its title proclaimed, “for the encouragement of learning” – at the time, Parliament set the length of copyright at fourteen years, renewable only once – the stationers attempted to defend their monopoly of publishing and the book trade by arguing for perpetual copyright in a long series of court cases – but they lost in the definitive ruling of Donaldson v. 481 more words