BOOK PRESENTATION ‘American Tyrannies in the Long Age of Napoleon’ (OUP, 2023)



To attend this event, please register here.
Please note that the event will be followed by a small wine reception.

With author Elizabeth Duquette (Gettysburg University)

Discussants: Nicholas Cole (Pembroke College, Oxford University) and Michael Jonik (University of Sussex)

Convened by François-Joseph Ruggiu (Maison française d’Oxford)

Thanks to Alexis de Tocqueville, the young United States is forever associated with the birth of democracy in Western thought. In an ambitious journey through literature, history, philosophy, arts and poetry, Elizabeth Duquette explores another, more obscure, component of nineteenth-century American thought, that of tyranny. She delves on the figure of Napoleon, the most famous man of the century and also a notorious tyrant, whose prevalence in nineteenth-century American culture is astonishingly great. Through an elegant reading of major works of American culture as well as neglected texts and images, from abolitionist David Walker to novelist Henry James, going through Ralph Waldo Emerson, Karl Marx, and many others, she reveals the fascination Napoleon exercised on men and women’s minds and his enduring influence on the American political imaginary. She shows that tyranny is as American as democracy. In an uncertain world, with crucial elections looming in 2024 all around the globe, Elizabeth Duquette offers the lessons of the past for all to read.