Voyage to the Country of Liberty by Louis Jacolliot 1876: Communal Life in the United States ("Voyage au pays de la liberté: la vie communale aux Etats-Unis") by Louis Jacolliot (1876)

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This is the first translation into English of French magistrate Louis Jacolliot’s 1876 travel narrative to California. In this work, Jacolliot presents this small California town as a utopian community where the villagers practice participatory democracy and benefit from educational, governmental and journalistic systems unlike their rigid and authoritarian counterparts in France. During a period of social and political upheaval in France, Jacolliot uses the travel narrative to convince his French readers of the merits of American politics and culture. This work should appeal to those interested in travel literature, California history, American studies, and French history. This book contains 4 black and white photographs.


“Louis Jacolliot’s Voyage to the Country of Liberty: Communal Life in the United States, in Paul Douglas’ excellent annotated edition of George McCool’s translation from the French, presents a fascinating addition to fictional travel narrative literature. This critique of French government posed as a travel adventure in a utopian California provides a useful contribution to our understanding, not just of Jacolliot’s ideas, but of the broader set of political and social ideas in circulation among Jacolliot’s French contemporaries and the means of circulation available to such thinkers at the end of the Second Empire and beginning of the Third Republic when Jacolliot was writing and publishing his accounts.” - Professor Abigail Mellen, History Department, Lehman College, City University of New York

“The translation of the text is superb. The choices the translator has made, to respect the tone and peculiarities of the prose as much as possible without unduly distracting the reader, and to leave a few key words in the original French, are sound and reasonable and render an extremely readable text. ... the English rendering is smooth and articulate without losing the French rhythm.” - Dr. Jordan Kellman, Assistant Professor of History, History and Geography Department, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

“Overall Voyage to the Country of Liberty is a useful document for researchers. Because of its success and the influence of its author, the book gives the scholar a great insight into the political discourse at the beginning of the Third Republic as well as in the construction of the image of America in the French collective mind.” - Dr. Dominique A. Laurent, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of French and Italian, Dickinson College

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