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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Turgid and self satisfying, 11 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon: The New Penguin History of France (Kindle Edition)
I so wanted to read this, it is a scholarly work indeed but sadly the pompous writing style, excessive use of words that even my 80 year old mother who is a retired professor of English Language had trouble defining, made this a turgid and difficult read.

It does explain the period well, but it seems like its a self-satisfying pronouncement on the cleverness of the admittedly learned author. You wouldn't be able to read this book unless you really seriously needed to, it could never pass as a relaxing informative read.

That said, as one would imagine, it's exceptionally researched and factual. Some is interpretive, maybe even deconstruction can be identified in places as the author tries to explain in his own self-acknowledging expertise quite what he's trying to get at.

In short this book is best read by one person - the author. It feels not written to inform but to explain what the author knows and his viewpoint of it, which it seems he considers utterly sacrosanct.

Dull as dishwater because of the writing style to read, but if you need a lecture and need to know the subject for some reason, you need to read it.
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