Augustin Cochin (historian)

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Augustin Cochin
BornAugustin Denis Marie Cochin
(1876-12-22)22 December 1876
Paris, France
Died8 July 1916(1916-07-08) (aged 39)
Maricourt, Somme, France
Cause of deathKilled in action

Augustin Cochin (22 December 1876 – 8 July 1916) was a French historian of the French Revolution.[1] Much of his work was posthumously published in an incomplete state after he was killed in action in World War I.[2]

Career overview[edit]

Born in Paris, Cochin was the son of Denys Cochin, a Parisian deputy in the National Assembly with ties to the Vatican, and the grandson of Augustin Cochin, a French politician and writer.[3] His Catholic upbringing helped him to remain detached from the French Revolution and study it historically in a new light.[4]

Cochin studied the Revolution from a sociological perspective, cultivated from his interest in the work of Émile Durkheim,[5] and he sought to look at the revolution from a social perspective.[6][7] François Furet believed that Cochin's work worked towards an analysis of two objectives: “a sociology of the production and role of democratic ideology, and a sociology of political manipulation and machines.”[8]

Cochin was drafted into service in World War I in 1914, and he was wounded four times in service before being killed on 8 July 1916 at Maricourt, Somme.[9]

His sometime collaborator, Charles Charpentier, worked with Cochin's family towards posthumous publication of his works.

See also[edit]

Major works[edit]

  • La Crise de l’Histoire Révolutionnaire: Taine et M. Aulard, Honoré Champion, 1909.
  • Le Capitaine Augustin Cochin. Quelques Lettres de Guerre, (Préface de Paul Bourget), Bloud & Gay, 1917.
  • Les Sociétés de Pensée et la Démocratie: Études d’Histoire Révolutionnaire, Plon-Nourrit et Cie., 1921.
  • La Révolution et la Libre Pensée: la Socialisation de la Pensée (1759-1789); la Socialisation de la Personne (1789-1792); la Socialisation des Biens (1793-1794), Plon, 1924.
  • Les Sociétés de Pensée et la Révolution en Bretagne (1788-1789), Champion, 1925.
  • Les Actes du Gouvernement Révolutionnaire (23 août 1793 – 27 juillet 1794), 3 Vol., A. Picard et Fils, 1920-1935.
  • Abstraction Révolutionnaire et Réalisme Catholique, Desclée, de Brouwer & Cie., 1936.
  • L'Esprit du Jacobinisme: une Interprétation Sociologique de la Révolution Française, Presses Universitaires de France, 1979.

Works in English translation[edit]

  • "The Subversive Influence of the Philosophes and the Sociétés de Pensée." In: William F. Church (ed.), The Influence of the Enlightenment on the French Revolution. Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1964, pp. 61–67.
  • Organizing the Revolution: Selections from Augustin Cochin, Chronicles Press/The Rockford Institute, 2007.


  1. ^ Lacombe, Bernard (1929). "Augustin Cochin, Historien de la Révolution," Le Correspondant, No. 101, pp. 822–826.
  2. ^ Chassagne, Frédéric (1980). La Pensée d'Augustin Cochin. Mémoire, Université Panthéon-Assas.
  3. ^ Goyau, Georges (1926). "Une Belle Vie d'Historien. Augustin Cochin," Revue des Deux Mondes, No. 522, pp. 621–653.
  4. ^ Furet, François (1981). "Augustin Cochin: The Theory of Jacobinism," in Interpreting the French Revolution, Chap. III. New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 165.
  5. ^ Jennings, Jeremy (2011). "History, Revolution and Terror," in Revolution and the Republic, Chap. VI, Oxford University Press, pp. 295–297.
  6. ^ Gillouin, René (1929). "Augustin Cochin et l'Interprétation "Sociale" de la Révolution de 1789," in Le Destin de l'Occident. Paris: Éditions Prométhée.
  7. ^ Furet (1981), p. 165.
  8. ^ Furet (1981), p. 182.
  9. ^ Furet (1981), p. 191.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bénéton, Philippe (1996). "The Great Misunderstanding." In: The Legacy of the French Revolution, Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 175–185.
  • Halévi, Ran (1986). "L'Idée et l'Événement: Sur les Origines Intellectuelles de la Révolution Française," Le Débat, No. 38, pp. 145–163.
  • Martin, Gaston (1926). Augustin Cochin et la Révolution. Toulouse: Éditions du Bon Plaisir.
  • Meaux, Antoine de (1928). Augustin Cochin et la Genèse de la Révolution. Paris: Plon.
  • Porset, Charles (1990). "Les Francs-maçons et la Révolution (autour de la "Machine" de Cochin)," Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française, No. 279, pp. 14–31.
  • Schrader, Fred E. (1989). "Réalisme Catholique et Sociologie de la Révolution: le Projet Historiographique d'Augustin Cochin (1909-1916)," Cahiers Georges Sorel, Vol. VII, No. 7, pp. 163–206.
  • Schrader, Fred E. (1992). Augustin Cochin et la République Française. Paris: Le Seuil.
  • Sonenscher, Michael (1990). "The Cheese and the Rats: Augustin Cochin and the Bicentenary of the French Revolution," Economy and Society, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 266–274.
  • Winnie, L. H. (1988). Aegis of the Bourgeoisie: the Cochins of Paris, 1750-1922. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan.
  • Winnie, Laurence H. (2002). Family Dynasty, Revolutionary Society: The Cochins of Paris, 1750-1922, Westport, CT, Greenwood.