As Kwass shows, eighteenth-century French consumers had developed an insatiable appetite for goods from overseas.
Kwass connects the story of Mandrin's short-lived reign of terror in 1754, which spawned a vast literature glorifying him and inspired political economists to develop powerful critiques of mercantilist economic regulation, to the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, when crowds throughout the country targeted the General Farm's toll booths and offices.
The different parts of Kwass's story do not always fit together as neatly as his absorbing narrative suggests.
For Kwass, however, Mandrin's actions seem less like Jesse James and more like Robin Hood.
The most original part of Kwass's comprehensive analysis is the way that he links Mandrin's story with Jan de Vries's The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (Cambridge, 2008).
Building upon De Vries's social and economic scaffolding, Kwass argues that smuggling was not simply criminal activity rivalling state monopolies; rather, the growth in smuggling during the eighteenth century serviced the rising demand among ordinary Frenchmen for new products, tobacco and calicoes prominent among them.
(3) As Kwass (2004) relates, 'admirers hung his portrait in salons and provincial halls of state; church goers paid twelve sous to sit near him at mass; fathers offered up their daughters for marriage; lawyers cited him in court; shopkeepers appropriated the book's title for their signs; and the dauphin of France himself claimed to know the text by heart' (p.
(4) In comparison, Diderot's Encyclopedie ranked 21st and Rousseau's Discours sur les Sciences et les Arts 34th (Kwass 2004, p.
More than a half-century later, Michael Kwass has undertaken the daunting task of untangling the complex tax system that prevailed in eighteenth-century France.
When that body met during the spring of 1789, the emboldened Third Estate ventured to declare all royal taxes illegal and, in Kwass's words, "assumed the power to destroy as well as to create taxes, making itself a formidable rival of the crown" (282).
In an especially interesting essay on noble display, Michael Kwass
considers how conspicuous expenditure was a central part of what was expected in noble dress when the Estates-General met at Versailles in 1789.
Dies konnte auch bei dem setukesischen Volkslied mit tarenda der Fall sein, denn die Verse Naio iks targast vasta lausui:/ Esi om meil taari tarenda,/ Esi ollut kelderista,/ Modu iks musta kamberista 'Das Madchen klug antwortete: Selbst haben wir Kwass
im Hause, Selbst aus dem Keller, schwarzer Met aus der Kammer' verteilen sich in anderen Liedvarianten so im Dialog zwischen Madchen und Knaben, dass an Stelle von tarenda der Inessiv tarena 'in der Stube' zusammen mit dem dazugehorigen Parallelvers kelderin 'im Keller' auftritt, dem wiederum die Elativformen erst mit den Antworten des Knaben folgen.