At the center of this book stands the story of a great but forgotten newspaper: the Gazette de Leyde, edited by Jean Luzac from 1772 to 1798. A French-language biweekly newspaper published in the Dutch city of Leiden from 1677 to 1811, the Gazette de Leyde was regarded as the international newspaper of record, occupying the cultural niche filled today by the New York Times and Le Monde. Jeremy D. Popkin reconstructs the Gazette's history, providing a comprehensive picture of the environment that produced it, how it gathered and printed its reports, its relationship with its readers, and the way it depicted the great events of three critical decades. In rich detail he shows that absolutist regimes often cooperated with the Gazette's editors, providing information and condoning its publication in open violation of their own censorship regimes. He also examines the Dutch context which fostered both the freedom that made the paper's publication possible and the techlogy and business skills that allowed for its rapid publication and successful marketing. In addition, he draws on a wide reading of the press of the period to compare the Gazette with other major newspapers. He concludes with a treatment of the paper's fortunes during the era of the French Revolution.
Jeremy D. Popkin holds the William T. Bryan Chair of History at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of many books, including You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery and A Short History of the French Revolution.