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The Enlightened Vote

Stefan Collini: Ernest Renan

9 December 2019
‘What Is a Nation?’ and Other Political Writings 
by Ernest Renan, translated and edited by M.F.N. Giglioli.
Columbia, 328 pp., £62, September 2018, 978 0 231 17430 5
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... from La Réforme intellectuelle et morale, the collection which best displays his somewhat conservative or aristocratic version of liberalism. In Renan’s case it is particularly tricky, as M.F.N.Giglioli acknowledges in his judicious introduction, to decide what should count as ‘political’ and what should not. His writings on religion, language and history often served as barely coded defences of ...

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