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The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution (Bicentennial Reflections on the French Revolution) Hardcover – 1 Jan 1990

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First Sentence
ANY REFLECTION ON THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF THE French Revolution leads ineluctably back to a classic, Daniel Mornet's Les Origines intellectuelles de la Revolution francaise 1715-1787. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting Idea 23 Feb 2001
By AndyT1027 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
M. Chartier has written an intellectual, tightly argued work that has been greatly beneficial to my understanding of the revolution in France. His notion that the ideas of the Enlightenment influenced revolutionary thought indirectly through a "demystification" of the monarchy is very intriguing. This book did much to make me question some of my long-held presumptions about the French Revolution.
Chartier is an excellent thinker and presents what were at the time remarkably ... 15 Oct 2014
By Michael Ian Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an important text for anyone interested in the cultural history of the French Revolution. Chartier is an excellent thinker and presents what were at the time remarkably clever ways of questioning and understanding the revolution's origin. His insights are profound and challenging, though in some respects the book is almost entirely ideas with very little by way of substantiation for them. Despite this, Chartier has carved out an essential place in the historiography of the field. This work is cited in countless others' publications, and the ideas expressed in this text, while in some cases slightly outdated, certainly paved the way for much of the writing that followed. Its influence alone makes it worthy of your time.

As mentioned, this is not a text of considerable substance, and as such it is not to be misunderstood as a history of the French Revolution, or indeed even as much of a "history book" as commonly held. This is academic literature through and through. It's very much historiographical, borrowing and building upon the works of other writers, such as Baker or Habermas, and cannot be properly understood without a considerable amount of outside knowledge. Fortunately, the bibliography serves as an excellent guide for continued research, and Chartier's descriptions of the works he draws his argument from are useful in understanding them.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution, it's one of the first texts I read on the subject and I have returned to it many times since, constantly more impressed by Chartier's brilliance. If you are researching this topic, this book is an essential resource, if only as a guide for further research and an outstanding example of the subtlety that makes cultural history so beautiful.
Great quality, great argument! 25 Feb 2013
By verdruss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great arguments about the influences of the revolutions. however, the author seems to contradict his own arguments the entire time. Wordy and the translation is a little off, but worth the read.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An interesting argument, if you can find it 8 Feb 2012
By Artisus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As with another review, I read this book as part of a required graduate course on the French Revolution. I will state straight-away, this is a very pretentious book but its argument is admirable... if you can find it. The language, perhaps of Chartier or perhaps of the translator Lydia G. Cochrane, is long-winded and often difficult to decipher. What would take a concise writer twenty words to say takes this book fifty or one hundred (no exaggeration), and this is what makes it difficult reading. The thesis is interesting enough to warrant reading: emerging ideas helped to shift social positions (largely because of publications) and it was the shift of social structure that led to the Revolution. So, I give the argument four stars, but the needlessly complex writing (not to mention the poor grammar) lowers my rating to three stars. If you can plow through the book (especially if it's required reading) you'll probably understand the Revolution a little better, but you'll absolutely hate the word "rupture" (which Chartier uses extensively but never defines as historical term).
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Long and Dry, but good nonetheless 12 Dec 2012
By Mandolynn_30 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, not the best book for this topic. For a better (and shorter) read, Try William Doyle's A Short Introduction, The French Revolution.
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