Revolutionary France 1770-1880 (History of France) Paperback – 22 Oct 1995
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"An outstanding work of synthesis and imagination." Ian McIntyre, The Times
"This brilliant book by one of France′s leading historians is the second to be published in a five–volume History of France from 987 to 1987. It is as elegantly written as it is translated. The style is lively." Sunday Telegraph
"Everyone interested in the French Revolution and its consequences should read this important, stimulating and accessible book." Times Literary Supplement
"Anyone with an interest in the period will find, along with a rich and powerful narrative, some remarkably stimulating, profound and humane reflections on France′s complex political experience." Times Higher Education Supplement
"An impressive, even dazzling achievement." London Review of Books
"Francois Furet has a good claim to be considered the leading living historian of the French revolution. A very well written book, skilfully translated by Antonia Nevill." History Today
"The bicentennial of the French Revolution has brought forth many fine histories of that pivotal event in as many languages. But none has attained the scope of Furet′s volume in the projected five–volume history of France from 987 AD to 1987. Superbly translated from the French by Antonia Nevill, Furet′s handsome volume charts a critical century in that 1,000 years." Journal of Interdisciplinary History
From the Back Cover
This is an account of 110 years of turbulence and change. At the offset there were not one, but two revolutions: by intent the first was egalitarian, the second – Bonaparte′s – authoritarian. The tension between the two characterized the period and shaped the Republic that in the end emerged from the ruins of the Ancien Regime.
The narrative begins in the last years of Louis XVI. The author provides a graphic account of the years leading up to the Revolution and of the Revolution itself. The sovereignty of the people was as absolute as the monarchy it replaced, and the Terror was its tragic and inevitable consequence. In 1799, after a well planned and executed military coup, Bonaparte seized power and within five years had made himself France′s first emperor. Napoleon conquered not only half of Europe but the aspirations of the Revolution, and put in place the laws and institutions by which France is still largely governed. Yet the Revolutionary ideology of liberty and equality survived Napoleon and two restorations of the monarchy, reemerging in the popular uprisings of 1830, 1848 and 1871, and finally finding constitutional expression in the Third Republic of 1871.
Revolutionary France is a vivid narrative history. It is also a radical reinterpretation of the period, and testimony to the power both of ideas and of personality in movements of the past.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It would be useless and annoying to get in to a historiographical debate on amazon so i wont. Instead I will point out that Furet's arguments about the revolution are very well put across and backed up with a decent amount of evidence.
It is well written and information is packed in to a short space of time.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Beginning with the ancien regime we see rigid class stratification bend under the debates on the nature of sovereignty and liberty. The grand stage of the French Revolution serves as the laboratory for class warfare and transformation, and the birthplace of class consciousness and new everchanging political identities contingent on men and events. Furet illuminates how the French continued to battle over the issues and vendettas chrystallized by the Revolution throughout the 19th century. The battle lines are not manichean as Royalists split amongst Bourbons and Orleanists, and republicans between 1789 and 1793. And within each of those subcategories are born further multiplicities and loyalties across class boundaries.
As France modernizes the bougeoisie become more conservative and the general consensus becomes a search for the paradoxical combination of liberty and law. 1793 without the terror, 1848 without the July Days and socialism. For royalists of all stripes the issues revolve around the best form of monarchy in a modern society, to protect property from the growing strength of the populace.
Furet also portrays the evolution of historical accounts by the great academic politicians from Thiers to Toqueville, illuminating their struggle to define the Revolutionary heritage within their contemporaneous paradigms. This results in a seemless work of historiagraphy interwoven with history as it was made by the historians themselves.
While not incredibly informative on the minutae of the period the book is an indispensable introduction to the political and intellectual underpinnings of revolutionary France.
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