Rachel Fulton

Department of History

The University of Chicago


Winter 2008




Books Available for Purchase from the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore

Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, and Other Writings, ed. E.J. Hundert [Hackett Publishers, 1997; ISBN: 0872203743]

Mary Wollstonecroft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) [Penguin Books, 1993; ISBN: 0140433821]

Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe (1819) [Penguin Books; ISBN 0-14-043658-8]

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859) [Hackett Publishers, 1978; ISBN: 0915144433]

Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871) [Prometheus Books, 1998; ISBN 1573921769]

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (1929), trans. James Strachey [Norton, 1961; ISBN 0-393-30158-3]

Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz [Touchstone, 1995; ISBN: 0684826801]


All Other Readings on Reserve in Regenstein Library or On-Line as Indicated

Readings in Western Civilization 7: The Old Regime and the French Revolution, ed. Keith Michael Baker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) = RWC 7 [CB245.U640 1986, vol. 7]

Readings in Western Civilization 8: Nineteenth-Century Europe. Liberalism and its Critics, ed. Jan Goldstein and John W. Boyer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) = RWC 8 [CB245.U640 1986, vol. 8]

Readings in Western Civilization 9: Twentieth Century Europe, ed. John W. Boyer and Jan Goldstein (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) = RWC 9 [CB245.U640 1986, vol. 9]


Course Requirements


1.      Careful study of the assigned readings.  As one of the main purposes of this course is to enable you to read different kinds of texts from different historical periods and to develop your confidence in approaching unfamiliar texts in the future, it is very important that you read each of the assigned selections as carefully as possible before coming to class each day.   As you read, keep in mind not only our larger questions about the nature and development of European civilization, but also what makes the particular text you are reading distinct.  It will help if you ask yourself the following questions: what does the author tell us about why he or she was writing?  Why was the author’s subject so important that he or she considered it worth writing about?  What does the author’s interest in the subject tell us about the historical circumstances in which he or she was writing? 


2.      Participation in class discussion and comments on the texts discussed (30% of your final grade).  To help you prepare for the discussions and to give me some indication of how you are reading, you will be required over the course of the quarter to post to the Chalk discussion board eight comments (about 300 words each) by 8am on the morning we discuss the text.  NO EXCEPTIONS, so be sure to keep track of your postings over the course of the quarter.  Hint: it’s best just to plan to do one a week.  These comments should address questions that occurred to you in the course of your reading (e.g. about the problems you had understanding the text, about things that surprised you in the text, about issues or particulars about which you would like to know more having read the text), as well as answers to the general questions posed above concerning the author’s purpose and interest.


3.      Two textual analyses (6-8 pages, each 20% of your final grade).  These will each consist of a formal analysis of one of the texts or sets of texts that we will have already read and discussed in class.  The first will be due February 5.  The second will be due March 4. 


4.      Final exam (30% of your final grade).  In class during exam week (March 17-21).


Reading and Discussion Assignments


January 8  Introduction


January 10  On the Nature of Man and the Origins of Moral Virtue

Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Public Benefits, Volume I (1723), and An Enquiry into the Origins of Honor, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War, First Dialogue, ed. E.J. Hundert (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishers, 1997), pp. 19-55, 56-61, 80-87, 94-107, 109-54, 195-213, 214-15 [BJ1520 .M4 1997]

[Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Diderot, Encyclopedie]


January 15  The End of Empire

Edward Gibbon, “Some General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West”; chapter LXXI; and “A Vindication etc.” in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788), ed. David Wormersley, 6 vols. in 3 (London and New York: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1994), vol. 2, pp. 508-16; vol. 3, pp. 1062-85; vol. 3, pp. 1108-24 [DG311.G5 1994]

________, Memoirs of My Life, ed. Betty Radice (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984), pp. [134-54]


[Rousseau, La nouvelle Heloise; Casanova, Memoirs]


January 17  Revolution

Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, “What is the Third Estate?” (1789) [RWC 7, pp. 154-79]

Dispatches from Paris (April-July 1789) [RWC7, pp. 184-98]

Peasant Grievances, Reports of Popular Unrest, Decrees of the National Assembly, The “October Days” (1789) [RWC7, pp. 208-37]

“Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” (1789) [RWC7, pp. 237-39]

“The Civil Constitution of the Clergy” (1790) [RWC 7, pp. 239-42]


January 22  Rights of (Wo)man

Mary Wollstonecroft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), pp. 79-123, 133-35, 142-48, 156-74, 257-69, 324-28 [HQ1596.W60 1975b; also Harper HQ1596.W61 1988]

[Emancipation of the Negroes]


January 24 Terror

The King’s Trial [RWC7, pp. 302-23]

“Make Terror the Order of the Day” (5 September 1793) [RWC7, pp. 342-53]

The Law of Suspects (17 September 1793) [RWC7, pp. 353-54]

Maximilien Robespierre, “Report on the Principles of Political Morality” [RWC 7, pp. 368-84]

The Festival of the Supreme Being (8 June 1794) [RWC7, pp. 384-91]

Joseph de Maistre, “Considerations on France” (1797) [RWC 7, pp. 445-52]


January 29  Chivalry I

Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe (1819), Dedicatory Epistle to Dryasdust (pp. 5-14); vol. 1, chaps. 1-8, 13 (pp. 15-85, 117-25); vol. 2, chaps. 1-2, 8, 10, 14 (pp. 133-47, 179-86, 193-202, 230-41); vol. 3, chaps. 2, 5, 7, 9-10, 13-14 (pp. 271-82, 301-311, 319-330, 337-70, 382-401) [PR5322 .W4 1995]


January 31  Chivalry II                                                            

Thomas Carlyle, “Signs of the Times” (1829): http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carlyle/signs1.html

Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present  (1843), Book 2, chapter 10: “Government”; Book 4, chapter 4: “Captains of Industry”: http://www.historyhome.co.uk/readings/carlyle/contents.htm

Samuel Smiles, “William Fairbairn” [RWC vol. 8, pp. 82-92]

Two Articles from The Economist (1851) [RWC vol. 8, pp. 92-100]


February 5  The Essence of Christianity                                  Textual essay #1 due in class  

Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, trans. George Eliot (1854) (New York: Harper, 1957), pp. 1-32 [BL51.F426]

Ernest Renan, The Life of Jesus  (1863) [RWC 8, pp. 336-51]

James Thomson, “Jesus Christ Our Great Exemplar” (1874): http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/thomson/1.html


February 7  The Essence of Society

Alexis de Tocqueville, Recollections [RWC 8, pp. 220-241]

Karl Marx, “On the Jewish Question” (1844), in The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert Tucker, 2nd edition (New York: Norton, 1978), pp. 26-52 [HX39.5.M3740 1978]


February 12  The Essence of Liberty

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859), ed. Elizabeth Rapaport [Harper JC585.M60 1978]


February 14  The Essence of Man

Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871), chaps. 3, 4, 5, 19 [and 21] (pp. 66-151, 576-586 [-606], [629-43], 642-43) [QH365.D20 1981]


February 19  The Industry of Man

Nikolay Ivanovich Bukharin and Yevgeny Preobrazhensky, The ABC of Communism (1922), trans. Eden and Cedar Paul (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1966), Foreward, Introduction, ch. 2, #18; ch. 3; ch. 9; ch. 11; ch. 25(pp. 15-16, 19-25, 66-91, 220-27, 247-57, 331-36). [HX632.B9 1966]


February 21  The Civilization of Man

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (1929), trans. James Strachey [BF1400.F88776]


February 26  When civilization fails…

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1925) [RWC 9, pp. 191-218]

Arthur Koestler, The God that Failed (1949) [RWC 9, pp. 352-67]


February 28 

Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (1958) [D805.P7L4413 1993]

Bruno Bettelheim, Deposition before the U.S. Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality (July 1945) [RWC9, pp. 466-82]


March 4  A New Humanity                                          Textual analysis #2 due in class

Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1949), Introduction, chapters 1-3, 8-9; trans. H. M. Parshley, pp. xv-xxxiv, 3-67, 122-223 [HQ1206.B382 or HQ1208.B35213 1993 or HQ1208.B35213 1989]

[reduce assignment?  Just Introduction and Conclusion?]


March 6  A New Church

Selected Constitutions and Declarations from the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965): Gaudium et Spes, Dignitatis Humanae, and Nostra Aetate: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/


March 11  A New Europe

Václav Havel, "The Power of the Powerless", in Living in Truth: Twenty-two essays published on the occasion of the award of the Erasmus Prize to Václav Havel, ed. Jan Vladislav (London/Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989), pp. 36-122 [DB2241.H38A50 1989b]


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