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Citizens: A Chronicle of the French…

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

by Simon Schama

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
A visceral telling of the French revolution, starting and closing with Talleyrand and Lafayette. Well-written, told at breakneck speed, and covers a wide variety of players. Schama does not go into sufficient detail on particular aspects of the revolution, but if you are looking for an overall picture of the myriad reasons and results of this tumultuous period, this is a must. ( )
  deckehoe | Nov 27, 2015 |
Wonderful "thick" story of the French Revolution, incorporating tons of historiography, images and a living account of events beyond the traditional canon. ( )
  fdhondt | Feb 23, 2015 |
Extremely readable narrative history. This has to be the definitive, 'entry-level' take on the French Revolution. I personally would have preferred more explicit references - footnotes, etc - on the areas I was especially interested in. I thought the ending of the book felt rather thrown together, but don't know enough about French history to suggest a better 'end point'. ( )
  kcshankd | Nov 28, 2014 |
Phew, finished it. I didn't know much about the French Revolution before starting this huge, thorough, comprehensive book, and I'm not sure I know much more now, because it took me so long to read it I've forgotten what happened at the beginning ... Anyway, very well written, quite entertaining in places, very informative. Ends with the Thermidor coup of 1793; I suppose this is technically the correct place to end a history of the Revolution, but I would have liked it to carry the story on up to Napoleon, myself. I suppose the book couldn't really have got much bigger, though. Question: will eBooks end the physical constraints on book size? Will future history works rival Gibbon for length, and will the 22nd century J K Rowling be even more prolix? *shudder* ( )
  sloopjonb | May 24, 2014 |
Simon Schama has a wonderful way of injecting passion into writing about history without descending into pop sensationalism, and this to my knowledge, is one of his best.

If you're a veteran of history books in general you're probably the sort happy with long reads which which this is. For those of you not don't panic as the pages fly once the words start to pull you in. Take your time and remember that this is covering a fairly epic subject in social history.

On a single down note, despite having read this several times over I've never been very comfortable with the first chapter. Not sure why myself as it's not badly written, but that's only a few pages. About time I gave it a re read when I get chance I think.
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2 vote Hubster | May 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Recumbent readers beware. Those who like to do their poring lying down will scarcely rush to take up this book. It is monumental. Once hefted, however, and well balanced on lap, knee or chest, ''Citizens'' will prove hard to put down. Provocative and stylish, Simon Schama's account of the first few years of the great Revolution in France, and of the decades that led up to it, is thoughtful, informed and profoundly revisionist. Mr. Schama, who teaches history at Harvard University, has committed other large and readable tomes. But nowhere more than here does he challenge enduring prejudices with prejudices of his own. His arguments, though, are embedded in narrative. Above all, he tells a story, and he tells it well.
added by John_Vaughan | editNY Times, Eugen Weber (Jul 19, 1989)
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German translation has title "Der zaudernde Citoyen : Rückschritt und Fortschritt in der Französischen Revolution"; Hungarian translation has title "Polgártársak : A francia forradalom krónikája"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679726101, Paperback)

Instead of the dying Old Regime, Schama presents an ebullient country, vital and inventive, infatuated with novelty and technology--a strikingly fresh view of Louis XVI's France. A New York Times bestseller in hardcover. 200 illustrations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

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Explores the French Revolution in terms of the vitality and infatuation with technology that motivated French citizenry toward change and the conflicting, strained economics frustrating their visions for France.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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