Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was one of the most significant figures of the French enlightenment. His political writings cover the period from the first volume of the Encyclopedie (1751), of which he was principal editor, to the third edition of Raynal\'s Histoire des Deux Indes (1780), one of the most widely read books of the pre-revolutionary period. This volume contains the most important of Diderot’s articles for the Encyclopedie, a substantial number of his contributions to the Histoire, the complete texts of his Supplement au Voyage de Bougainville, one of his most visionary works, and his Observations sur le Nakaz, a precise and detailed political work translated here into English for the first time. The editors’ introduction sets these works in their context and shows the underlying coherence of Diderot’s thought. A chronology of events and a bibliography are included as further aids to the reader.
• Good second tier Texts volume • Diderot is an important figure in French pre-Revolutionary political writing • Many of the pieces here are translated into English for the first time (notably Observations sur le Nakaz)Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; Chronology; Bibliography; Articles from the Encyclopedie; Supplement to Bougainville’s ‘Voyage’ Observations on the Nakaz; Extracts from the Histoire des Deux Indes; Index.Review
‘As there is no collection of Diderot’s political writings available in English translation, this volume fills an obvious gap and will, one hopes, encourage further study of Diderot’s contribution to political theory … These texts are prefaced by an elegant introduction, and accompanied by a chronology, a useful guide to further reading and an ample index.’ French History