The French Revolution Paperback – 28 Jan 1982
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About the Author
Christopher Hibbert was born in 1924 and educated at Radley and Oriel College, Oxford. He served as an infantry officer during the war and was awarded the Military Cross in 1945. His many highly acclaimed books include the following titles: "The Destruction of Lord Raglan" (which won the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1962), " London: The Biography of a City," "The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici," "The Great Mutiny: India 1857," "The French Revolution," "Garibaldi and His Enemies," "Rome: The Biography of a City," "Elizabeth I: A Personal History of the Virgin Queen," "Nelson: A Personal History," "George III: A Personal History "and "The Marlboroughs: John and Sarah Churchill 1650 - 1744." Christopher Hibbert is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Hon. D. Litt. of Leicester University. He is married with two sons and a daughter, and lives in Henley-on-Thames.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hibbert provides a clear overview of a chaotic period, combining detailed descriptions of the events and personal stories together with underlying economic and political developments. "The French Revolution" is packed with information, anecdotes and character profiles, making it a joy to read. The appendix is also worth a look; providing essential background information to the story, explaining French terminology as well as the fate of secondary characters.
The picture that emerges is one that is not altogether different from numerous other revolutions seen since. It could be considered almost a blueprint for future revolutions: those that have against who have-not, one elite replacing another, sinister characters coming to the fore, the power struggles, the radicalization of politics, purges, showcase trials, mass executions of "enemies of the state" and all ultimately ending in military dictatorship. It all sounds too familiar for comfort. I understand better now why the first official political party in my country was named the Anti-Revolutionary Party.
What stands out in "the French Revolution" is the level of violence. The writer's description of the bloodlust of the mob and leaders alike is terrifying, the humiliation and cruelty shown towards opponents is truly shocking and the lack of compassion and mercy is chilling. Reading this book made me shiver more than once and will haunt me long after I put it down. Highly recommended.
However, I was disappointed that the book does not explore the ideas that catalysed this quest for new forms of government and social order.
Especially interesting is the appendix which sets out the fate (usually frightful) of virtually all the minor characters, if not mentioned already in the text.
Frankly, for a book that has praise from Jack Plumb on the cover one wouldn't expect anything else. If you are a student as I am starting from scratch then after this I would reccomend The Debate on the French Revolution (Issues in Historiography) (Issues in Historiography) as the next one on your reading list and then browsing your way through the indexes of general history books in your library as I have found there are some quite good data in them.
As another reviewer said, as much as Simon Schama is, in my opinion, the best history writer that we have I wouldn't start with 'Citizens' (there are, however a couple very good chapters on the revolution in 'Patriots and Liberators')
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was a classic writer and brilliant to get the background for a complex subject.Published 9 months ago by sparky
Excellent Product at an Excellent Price with an Excellent Service Buy here againPublished 9 months ago by merlin
A wonderful narrative rendition of the French Revolution.
Hibbert does not lack for storytelling ability and brings the history of the French Revolution within an... Read more
Found this surprisingly dull. Although I have no doubt that it is well researched and accurate, it's told as a story with little analysis or explanation of different... Read morePublished 10 months ago by DG RALFE
I knew what I should expect from the book and was not disappointed. Its condition was very acceptable and the delivery service was of the usual high standardPublished 10 months ago by Edward Kloet