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The French Revolution
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on 26 April 2017
Well written hugely informative.
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on 19 June 2017
A great book, so vivid, so descriptive although the pages could be a bit newer and the French phrases could do with an English translation.
Overall a very good book nevertheless and highly recommended to anyone interested.
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on 10 October 2017
Great book, really well written for someone whose History A level didn't exist at school...
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on 20 May 2012
As a first stop for those who just want to get a good idea of what caused the French Revolution, how it panned out and who the main players were then this is a great book to start with before going in depth with other more academic texts such as Simon Schama's Citizens (which is quite heavy-going for a novice on the subject). Hibbert is a historical author for the curious masses and I recommend his works thoroughly.
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on 15 February 2001
Well written and easy to read, Hibbert's account of the French revolution is an ideal starting point for those unfamiliar with the period. He makes understanding the shifting political groupings easy and his portraits of the protagonists breathe life into the whole. The description of the rising tide of mob violence is particularly effective.
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on 9 August 2010
Christopher Hibbert's book The French Revolution provides a readable account of an important and complex period in European history.
Characters are finely drawn, and Hibber's account of the accellerating changes in social events and political fortunes; the contrasts between the lives of the peasant and aristocratic classes; and of the events leading to The Terror holds the reader's attention throughout. A series of Appendices provide useful additional background information.
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on 16 October 2014
If you are looking for a blow by blow narrative of the French Revolution from 1789 onwards, then this is probably the book for you.
However, overall this books lacks analysis, particularly in respect of the causes of the Revolution. The significance of the events is lost in detail
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on 13 June 2010
"The French Revolution" by Christopher Hibbert tells the story of the "Mother of all Revolutions" and is a good introduction into one of the most famous historical events. It focuses on the crucial moments (the storming of the Bastille, the execution of the king and queen, the Great Terror and the rise of a young Napoleon Bonaparte) as well as the main players (Louis XVI, Mirabeau, Danton, Marat, Robespierre and Napoleon).

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.
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on 12 July 2011
As a history student who is starting reading for a year long study in to the French Revolution I would reccomend this as a starting point along with The French Revolution: Introductory Documents. It breaks down the important events of the revolution without much of the authors own interpretation.

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')
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on 13 January 2006
This book is a fascinating account of the real forces driving the French Revolution: not huddled masses rising up against a despot but a mixture of lawyers and merchants on the make who were eventually consumed by the monster that they created. The level of violence throughout is unbelievable, mobs, looters, and gangs of self-styled "assassins" roamed free summarily lynching anyone considered an enemy of whichever faction held sway in the government. It is shocking that the Revolution,given the tens of thousands of innocent victims that it claimed is still celebrated today; it is like the Russians celebrating the Gulags,or the British celebrating the anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Each key revolutionary leader, Robespierre, Marat, Danton, are given a brief biography before we learn of their inevitable demise, as infighting, graft, and factionalism destroy the Revolution's goals. An excellent read and a great introduction to the subject.
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