Customer Reviews

26
4.0 out of 5 stars
The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£6.39+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 4 May 2008
Fans of this series of books will know that most are very good, a few are duds, and a fair number are amazingly good. Professor Doyle's review of one of the major events in European history is firmly in that last category.

It is both an account of the events themselves and an overview of how they have been interpreted. The subject is complex and has aroused strong opinions across the ideological spectrum. Doyle gives all sides a fair hearing, but with the occasional wry comment that hints at where his own sympathies lie. The emphasis throughout is on the broader historic context rather than being an attempt to cram details into a short introduction. Both readers new to the subject and those looking for a review of where studies in the area now stand will be well served by this book.
[PeterReeve]
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2002
I have always been intrigued by the events of the French Revolution, partly because, as an A level History student, I have studied what a profound effect they had on the fight for political reform in 19th century Britain. However, being under an increasingly heavy workload I was understandably looking for a short introduction to the subject. Imagine my delight when I found this book!
"The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction" is the perfect length for me. My favourite part is the introductory chapter, in which Doyle links the events of the Revolution with their representations in literature and contemporary viewpoints. The book is easily divided into causes and effects, allowing a clear understanding of not only the period in question, but those preceding and following. It also contains a very full bibliography, meaning that if I find some time I will be able to read up on the subject in more depth!
To conclude, I would strongly recommend the book to anyone, student or the general reader, who wishes to gain insight into this momentous event in history.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2009
This is very useful book, and a brilliant introduction to the French Revolution. Although only short do not be deceived, because it still gives you a useful background of the French Revolution. It includes clear chapters which seperate different issues, for example 'Why it happened', 'How it happened', 'What it ended', 'What it started' etc. I would definitely recommend this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2003
Few events in history have been so raked over and analysed as the French revolution. The material regarding the latter is often, at times, frenetic and confusing and it is for this reason Doyle's short introduction, not only to the event itself, but the historiography of the event, is so refreshing and extremely instructive and explanitory. Doyle provides a clearly written, comprehensive narrative to the entire affair, whilst delving at times, into the historiographical debates which have, over the years, become part of the history of the revolution itself. Make this your starting point before getting into to Furet and the rest.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2013
As with all the wonderful 'Very Short introduction' series you get a lot of information for your money. I wanted to make better sense of the rather confused knowledge I had of the revolution and Doyle's book certainly helped me do that.
I couldn't help feeling though that as he warmed to what is very clearly his subject, he began to lose sight of the fact that this is an introduction for people who want to gain an initial overview before digging deeper. We seemed to move from the revolution itself to a discussion on how it somehow never quite ended, finding echoes and repercussions throughout 20th and even 21st century history. He's probably right, but this debate, resting on the learned writings of French authors, moved the book quite a distance form an introduction to the actual revolution itself.
However, that feeling aside, I would certainly recommend the book. Its strengths hugely outweigh its idiosyncrasies and I, for one, understand this extraordinary moment in history a lot better than before.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2002
I have read a number of books in the "short introduction" series, and have found them all to be good overviews of the subjects covered. If, like me, you know very little about the French revolution, this books acts as an excellent introduction, not only presenting facts and history, but also analysis of the causes and effects of the revolution. The critics and fans of the revolution are given equal consideration, and the result is a balanced analysis of different opinions on the subject, particularly in light of the recent bicentennial celebrations.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 May 2007
I knew nothing about the French revolution before I bought this book, so decided to give myself a brief introduction. The book is organised into chapters, each covering a totally different aspect of the French revolution. The book's main emphasis is on the legacy of the French revolution in its aftermath, and as such is slightly weak in terms of its explanation of the revolution itself. Consequently, whilst this book would give you a good overview of what the aftermath of the revolution was, and its significance to today, you may find the coverage of the revolution itself rather brief. Indeed, one minute we are at a conference in Paris, the next we are with Napoleon's armies in Egypt, with the reader not quite sure as to how we made this leap. In conclusion, the book is good for those who want to know about the legacy of the revolution, but less so for those interested in the events of the revolution itself.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2012
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION by William DOYLE ( via Amazon UK)

This is an excellent brief and fluent account of the key causes, events, ideas and legacy of French Revolution. I now have a much clearer grasp of the complex society in pre revolution France including the role of the Church. Doyle clarified significant developments and events over the period 1789 -93 and later without bogging the reader down with too much detail. Just what I needed after reading Dickens' A Tale of two Cities ( over-the-top plot and writing verbose but it presented a very limited introduction to class system ,attitudes and violence in France circa revolution.)

Doyle's VSI provides a perfect introduction to Mantel's A PLACE of GREATER SAFETY...have just begun her novel and am enjoying reading about the (presumably well researched and imagined) childhoods and societies of key players in the revolution- Robespierre, Danton and Desmoulins. It is brilliant!!

Very glad I didn't study the Revolution at school as I can better enjoy the adventure of exploring it now at leisure and from different persectives. And, Doyle's VSI is so accessible I will refer back to sections in future as my exploration continues.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2010
When I started studying the French Revolution at AS, I realisied just what a complicated series of events it was! However, this is a great little book to read as an introduction and for future referencing as it is easy to understand and not too long or boring! I definitely recommend it for anyone who is studying this period at AS/A2 history or if you literally just want a short introduction to the French Revolution!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2013
I knew very little about the French revolution, except for the fact that it is a very complex period and happened within a relatively short historical period, and many books have been written about it.
I felt that I needed a clear introduction to the subject before delving into the historical source material I needed for an Open University course. This short book provided the answer. Although a quick, easy read it is packed full of relevant information including narrative events, analysis and evaluation. I will definitely be reading more of these 'very short introduction' books in future.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The French Revolution
The French Revolution by Christopher Hibbert (Paperback - 28 Jan. 1982)
£12.08

The Oxford History of the French Revolution
The Oxford History of the French Revolution by William Doyle (Paperback - 28 Nov. 2002)
£21.00

Citizens: A Chronicle of The French Revolution
Citizens: A Chronicle of The French Revolution by Simon Schama (Paperback - 5 Aug. 2004)
£15.00
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.