Most helpful critical review
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A good introduction but interpretations questionables
on 16 February 2013
I have already a growing number of "very short introduction.." on my bookshelf and quite enjoy reading them.
I think its a very good series except for the text font and layout which I am not a big fan. I find them hard to read sometimes but they do have the advantage of being pocket size so handy.
The author has some talent in retracing the history of this violent and complex revolution in a clear and very synthetic style. However, the style may sound a bit dry and perhaps too academic for some of the readers. I did not mind but could understand if such a book does not please a younger audience.
Altogether, I had a very good time reading this book but I felt a bit somehow uncomfortable when reading the last chapters on interpretatioon, legacy,etc. of the revolution.
Simply, I found that the author was adopting a rather too "capitalistic" way of seing things and was quite negative. Being french myself and more of a leftist, I did not really agree with some of his views.
The bicentenary was a moment of pride in France, a remembrance of a time where 98% of the population was not far from enslavement with a tiny minority benefiting.
Somehow, I felt he was quoting too many enemies of the revolution and not enough people from the left. I would have liked to hear more of what a Lenin would have said on this.