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"This book makes a distinct contribution by examining Enlightenment populationist thought. Carol Blum illustrates in original fashion how natalism intersects with multiple other strands of the Enlightenment, from anticlericalism to the critique of social customs. This is a work that opens up new territory."

"Blum has provided a rich body of material and insights that will be utilized by historians of sexuality, gender, and the family in the future."

"Examining a wide range of major and minor writings, Blum skillfully disentangles various threads of natalist thought advocating divorce, attacking the Church's position on celibacy, and even fantasizing about polygamy in the cause of procreation."

"Carol Blum has written a fascinating and very readable history of an odd controversy that provoked spirited polemics from the famous and not-so-famous of eighteenth-century France: the depopulation of the nation... Scholars of French intellectual and social history will learn a great deal from Blum's brief but deft handling of the ideas of a wide range of authors."

"All dix-huitièmistes have something to learn from this subtle and lucid book."

"In tracing the rise of demography as an administrative science in in Enlightenment and Revolutionary France, Blum demonstrates that debates about population helped to undermine the traditional authorities of Church and Crown."

"A work of originality and insight. It explores a completely neglected dimension of French population thought, and in so doing adds depth and context to the historiography of eighteenth-century ideologies of gender."

"A rich and well-crafted book... Blum is particularly adept at combining the different kinds of sources that participated in a sort of extended dialogue throughout the eighteenth century... Blum's concluding chapter is a tour de force, and should stand as a model for anyone trying to do intellectual or cultural history that connects to society."

"Strength in Numbers is destined to become an essential reference for scholars and students of eighteenth-century French culture and literature... A complete and insightful overview of the beginnings of modern population anxiety."

Strength in Numbers
Population, Reproduction, and Power in Eighteenth-Century France
Publication Date: 30 Apr 2003
Status: Available
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 280 pages
Illustrations: 7 halftones
ISBN: 9780801874680