The Celebrated Marquis: An Italian Noble and the Making of the Modern World
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Praised by Voltaire and the French philosophes, Beccaria was toasted in Paris in 1766 for his literary achievement, and his book—though banned by the Inquisition and placed on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books—was lauded by monarchs and revolutionaries alike. Among its admirers were the French Encyclopédistes; Prussia’s Frederick the Great; Russia’s enlightened czarina, Catherine II; members of the Habsburg dynasty; the English jurist Sir William Blackstone; the utilitarian penal reformer Jeremy Bentham; and American revolutionaries John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. On Crimes and Punishments, decrying tyranny and arbitrariness and advocating for equality of treatment under the law, helped to catalyze the American and French Revolutions. In 1774, on the cusp of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress explicitly hailed Beccaria as "the celebrated marquis."
Called the “Italian Adam Smith” for his pioneering work as an economist in Milan, Cesare Beccaria—like his Italian mentor, Pietro Verri—wrote about pleasure and pain, economic theory, and maximizing people’s happiness. Once a household name throughout Europe and the Americas, Beccaria taught economics before the appearance of Smith's The Wealth of Nations but died in obscurity after working for decades as a civil servant in Austria’s Habsburg Empire. As a public councilor, Beccaria pushed for social and economic justice, monetary and legal reform, conservation of natural resources, and even inspired France’s adoption of the metric system. In The Celebrated Marquis, award-winning author John Bessler tells the storyo of the history of economics and of how Beccaria’s ideas shaped the American Declaration of Independence, constitutions and laws around the globe, and the modern world in which we live.
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Table of contents
Three Neglected Pieces of the Documentary History of the Constitution and Bill of Rights: Remarks on the Amendments to the Constitution by a Foreign Spectator, Essays of the Centinel, Revived, and Extracts from the Virginia Senate Journal$52.00
The Baron and the Marquis: Liberty, Tyranny, and the Enlightenment Maxim That Can Remake American Criminal Justice$52.00
Education, Media, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples$38.40