November 26, 2018 Print

Students for Liberty France has recently published an anthology of classical liberalism that compiles 17 texts, each of them with an accompanying foreword by a scholar. All the texts are in French and most of them are written by French writers such as Benjamin Constant, Frédéric Bastiat, and Émile-Auguste Chartier (commonly known as Alain). The book is called Vous Avez Dit Liberté? 17 Textes D’anthologie Pour Découvrir Le Libéralisme (Did You Say Freedom? 17 Anthology Texts To Discover Liberalism), and is available for download here.

Each short extract of Vous avez dit Liberté features a theme, like justice, free speech, competitition, and more. The accompanying forewords help to make the texts and the ideas contained within more accessible to those reading about liberalism for the first time. The book's reliance on French thinkers also helps to communicate that the classical liberal tradition is not foreign to France. Rather, it was largely influenced by Frenchmen.

"This book proposes neither a system nor a program, but a matrix to question the functioning of our institutions and to examine with hindsight and lucidity the society we are building," said Sacha Benhamou, national coordinator of SFL France, in SFL's release. "We tackle [17] themes that seemed essential to us, without claiming exhaustion. This book is an invitation to travel, an open door to a rich and rich intellectual world. You will meet thinkers from different eras and from different countries, despite their different points of view, placing freedom at the heart of their vision of justice. We decided to choose French or French-speaking authors, liberalism is never an 'Anglo-Saxon ideology.' French intellectual history is rich in a long tradition of liberal thinkers, who have also inspired Anglo-Saxon intellectuals and their vision of liberalism. It is this wealth that we wanted to share, presented for each of these historical texts by some rare liberal intellectuals of our time. The prefaces of these will not fail to provoke new debates, just as liberal thought is protean and controversial."

Download the book here: Vous Avez Dit Liberté? 17 Textes D’anthologie Pour Découvrir Le Libéralisme