Augustin Cochin (historian)

Augustin Cochin (historian)

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

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. His Catholic upbringing helped him to remain detached from the French Revolution and study it historically in a new light. [Furet, François. "Interpreting the French Revolution." Cambridge University Press: New York, 1981, page 165.]

Cochin studied the Revolution from a sociological perspective, cultivated from his interest in the work of Émile Durkheim, and he sought to look at the revolution from a social perspective. [Furet, page 165] 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.” [Furet, page 182.] Cochin’s work deals with the revolution itself from a conceptual basis.

Cochin was drafted into service in World War I in 1914, and he was wounded four times in service before being killed on July 8, 1916 at Maricourt, Somme. [Furet, page 191.]

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

Major works

*"La Crise de l’histoire révolutionnaire: Taine et M. Aulard" (1909)
*"Actes du gouvernement révolutionnaire (23 août 1793 – 27 juillet 1794)" (1920)
*"Les Sociétés de pensée et la démocratie: Études d’histoire révolutionnaire" (1921)
*"Les Sociétés de pensée et la Révolution en Bretagne (1788-1789)" (1925)


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