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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant account of the events of May 1968..., 17 Jan 2013
John Ryedale (Sheffield, S Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Beginning of the End: France, May 1968, What Happened, Why it Happened (Paperback)
This book is the best I've ever encountered about the events of May 1968 in France.

The first half by anarchist Angelo Quattrocchi is beautiful in its eloquence, idealism and, at the end, the sense of tragedy. Quattrocchi gives a real sense of what it must have been like to stand on the precipice between capitalist society and something better. Tom Nairn's section is heavier on the factual side than Quattroochi's and examines why 1968 happened when and where it did. I don't know if I would recommend this book as an academic text, but I would definitely recommend it to someone interested in modern history or radical politics.

It is a book that it would do people well to read today. A book that answers that poses the questions 'Is a better society possible?' and 'Could we ever break out of this world and into one that values individuals more than it does profit?'

I must warn some of you out there that this may not be up your street. It is history from a certain radical political standpoint and while Nairn's section is fairly balanced looking at the causes of the uprisings, Quattroochi's is not. The latter was there, on the barricades, one who sought to establish the society of which he'd dreamed. Understandably then he has a particular view of how things went down that someone of a different political persuasion may be inclined to disagree with.

At £13 this book is a little pricey as it is relatively short at just over 150, however, it is one of the best history books I have ever had the pleasure of reading and would gladly have forked out £13 to buy it myself if it hadn't been a gift.
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The Beginning of the End: France, May 1968, What Happened, Why it Happened
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