REVIEWS in a library. Chura's project, in short, is a refreshing reminder that theory and practice depend upon one another. Do mini que Zin o is a PhD candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center working on a dissertation about developments in nineteenthcentury physiological optics and visual culture and their relationship to the aesthetics of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, and William and Henry James. Common Sense: A Political History. By Sophia Rosenfeld. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011. Pp. 337. Cloth, $29.95.) Reviewed by Nathan Perl-Rosenthal Is common sense revolutionary? Sophia Rosenfeld's rich intellectual history argues that it was in the eighteenth century and indeed may still be so. The career of the concept, as she presents it, also helps us understand one of the central dramas of early U.S. history: how a revolution led by a minority and marked by coercion and violence could so quickly become the basis for republican politics that eschewed internal violence and assumed that legitimacy flowed from the assent of the majority. Rosenfeld's story begins in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, when common sense assumed two incommensurate meanings. In one version, advanced primarily by thinkers in Francophone Europe including
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Oct 22, 2012
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